Sun Kil Moon - Benji

The first track to be premiered from Sun Kil Moon’s forthcoming Benji, “Richard Ramirez Died Today Of Natural Causes,” found Mark Kozelek fucking with an entirely new vocal approach: a rapid-fire, nearly anti-melodic attack similar to one of his primary muses, Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse. On “Micheline,” Kozelek sounds more like the singer we’ve come to know on the last few SKM albums, although he’s once again cramming more words per verse than anyone this side of Kendrick Lamar. Like “Richard Ramirez,” “Micheline” is obsessed with death, other lives, and nostalgia (in that order). Kozelek’s voice sounds cracked and weary, full of gorgeous autumnal hues and the same sepia tones that have long dominated his cover art. Joining Koz here are Jen Wood (best known for her work with the Postal Service) and pianist Chris Connolly (of the Kozlek-assisted Desertshore). It’s a stunningly sad and beautiful song from one of the best musicians in the world today. Listen.

Benji is out 2/4 via Caldo Verde.

Comments (10)
  1. The melody throughout kind of sounds like that John Cougar Mellencamp song (you know, that one that begins with the line that’s like, “I was born in a small town…”) if this was an alternate universe where John Cougar Mellencamp wasn’t a dad rock mainstay and was more obsessed with death than nostalgia.

  2. Kozelek can do no wrong

  3. Such a wonderful song, it really took me somewhere. I hope the world gets More Koz.

  4. Do you guys really need more ads taking up space that I have to scroll past to get to the comment section? This may inhibit this site’s already declining population of commenters from leaving posts.

  5. It’s interesting how moving a style as seemingly banal and played-out as folk-rock can be when it discards traditional lyrical structures. I mean, this sounds like a dude sitting on his porch telling stories of a pretty hardscrabble working-class life (Huntington Park has always been a pretty grungy place), and yet something in it just makes me smile. Well done, Mr. Kozelek, well done.

  6. My grandma, my grandma, my grandma, my grandma.

  7. Mark Kozelek could fart down a microphone for one hour, release the live CD, and I would attend and later buy it.

  8. Thanks Mark!
    Can’t wait for the album

  9. Mark Kozelek is the best singer songwriter ever, he delivers the best every time, I have seen him in Brooklyn NY many times and he never lets you down, always something amazing, I still do not know why he is not a household name out there though I suspect he likes it that way, he never bends or conforms to top forty bull ever and delivers the knock out punch like the boxers he so admires, I played one of his songs at my Mom’s funeral last year and it meant the world to play that for my Moms last rights before she went in the ground, I knew she heard me, we played one of his instrumentals called the Arrival from the girl next door soundtrack, I am a 55 year old man so moved by Mark’s music that words can’t describe it, he hits my inner most thoughts and feelings like no other artist to come along now or in my past, can’t wait for the Benji CD to be delivered soon in February, I love his work and hope he never changes how he does things, he feels our pain and delivers the music to fill our souls the same way he feels it, this is a rare gift for any artist to come across with that kind of feeling. My favorite artist by far, Thanks Mark if you can hear me

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