Last week we collectively beheld Under The Canopy, a deadpan Sun Kil Moon parody EP stunning in accuracy and hilarious in execution. The man behind that EP is Morgan Enos, who also writes and records his own music in a pair of projects called Other Houses and Hollow Sunshine. Enos saw our post on Under The Canopy and reached out to offer an interview, so we sent him some questions. Find the complete exchange below.
STEREOGUM: When did you become aware of Sun Kil Moon/Mark Kozelek? Do you consider yourself a fan?
MORGAN ENOS: I’m a huge fan of Mark Kozelek and Sun Kil Moon, and I’ve been listening to his music for about half a decade. (I’m 23 now.) Everything Kozelek has released since about 2011 gives his listener something rare — a chance to palpably live through his experience. It’s like Being John Malkovich or something. You can immerse yourself in Mark Kozelek’s records so deeply that you start to think you’re him, grumbling through this world as Mark, reflecting and self-narrating. I haven’t felt that effect in any other genre besides rap or spoken word, and I think it shows in how many people have connected with it.
STEREOGUM: What’s your take on Universal Themes? Do you like it?
ENOS: Universal Themes is my favorite, because it’s his most recent other than the Jesu collaboration. It feels like a hastily written letter delivered to you, a ephemeral moment in Kozelek’s life captured for posterity.
STEREOGUM: How’d you get the idea to record a parody EP?
ENOS: I’m interested in the world in general, and Sun Kil Moon’s music is just one thing that intrigues me. I’m rarely satisfied by passively observing something from a distance — to really enjoy something, sometimes I have the obsessive urge to strip away every layer until I’m convinced I can read the DNA. This probably gets me in trouble most of the time!
STEREOGUM: How long did it take to put this together, from conceiving it to writing to recording?
ENOS: I feel like I’ve really been in the process of making this EP for the entire time I’ve been interacting with Kozelek’s music. The actual process only took about three hours, though. It’s all served as an exercise in lifting the curtain, so to speak, and better understanding my own craft by examining the moving parts of a discography I really enjoy. It’s exciting how many people got to hear it!
STEREOGUM: Obviously there’s some heavy affectation on your vocals, but do you sound anything like Kozelek naturally?
ENOS: Not at all. I’m a tenor; much easier for me to sing a Beach Boys harmony or something. Mark Kozelek has a very naturalistic, unique singing voice that really draws you into his experience.
STEREOGUM: Mike Lisk aka A.P. Mike from The Best Show also did a Kozelek parody last year; were you aware of that?
ENOS: I’ve never heard of A.P. Mike and I haven’t bothered to look him up yet. 2016 is a strange time to be alive. It’s much easier to be an entertainer than a musician. But I love songwriting and making records the most.
STEREOGUM: Have you heard anything from Kozelek’s camp?
ENOS: We actually just had lunch. Just kidding.
STEREOGUM: Do you think Kozelek is just misunderstood, or is he really an asshole?
ENOS: Good question. He has said things that are indefensible. But I always return to the songs, which become more inseparable from his life with every record. You’ll just end up frustrated if you’re only looking for venomous and immature behavior from him, because you’ll always find an equal force of warmth and compassion.
STEREOGUM: Do you think Kozelek will write a song about this?
ENOS: Maybe, but I’m happy with Under The Canopy standing on its own. In the meantime, I’ve been preoccupied working on new records by Hollow Sunshine and Other Houses — I write and sing in both. Hollow Sunshine is rolling out a trilogy of EPs next week. Can’t wait to share everything I’m working on.