Both as Sun Kil Moon and under his own name, Mark Kozelek’s latter-day career mostly comprises ambling audio diaries set to lengthy acoustic meanderings. Around the time of 2014’s Benji, he was delivering these kinds of tunes with the same heartbreaking dynamism he brought to his previous slowcore balladry. In the five years since, he has loosened up his songwriting significantly, kicking out album after album of endless ruminations that sometimes venture into the most mundane details of his daily life.
He’ll release one called Mark Kozelek With Ben Boye And Jim White 2 in March of next year. It is, of course, a sequel to 2017’s Mark Kozelek With Ben Boye And Jim White, which saw him teaming up with Chicago multi-instrumentalist Boye and Dirty Three drummer White. It’s not the most imminent Kozelek album — that’d be Joey Always Smiled, the Petra Haden collaboration that includes a Huey Lewis And The News cover, due out in October. Nonetheless, Koz has shared the first single from his new album with Boye and White today, and it is a doozy.
“Where’s Gilroy?” is a 15-minute song that, in between various related and/or unreleated musings, centers on Kozelek’s reaction to the recent mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton. There are some loopy conversations with baristas that border on disrespectful to the victims and their families. We also hear Kozelek narrate a debate with a younger acquaintance, in which he suggests the current wave of mass shootings is representative of our country’s decades-long history of violence, while asserting that he’s just as anti-Trump and anti-gun as his conversation partner and they’re accomplishing something meaningful by having a frank discussion about the issue. And just when the music switches up, there’s this extremely meta rhetorical moment: “Where’s the song leading? Where does any song lead?”
Listen below via Brooklyn Vegan, and check out Kozelek’s September tour dates across Canada and the US.
09/02 – Vancouver, BC @ Imperial Theater
09/04 – Calgary, AB @ Bella Concert Hall
09/05 – Edmonton, AB @ Starlite Ballroom
09/07 – Winnipeg, MB @ Garrick Theater
09/09 – Montreal, QC @ L’astral
09/10 – Ottawa, ON @ 27 Club
09/12 – Toronto, ON @ Great Hall
09/14 – Chicago, IL @ Old Town School Of Folk
09/15 – St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall
09/16 – Cincinnati, OH @ Woodward Theatre
09/17 – Nashville, TN @ City Winery
09/19 – Asheville, NC @ The Asheville Masonic Temple
09/21 – Sellersville, PA @ Sellersville Theater
09/27 – Palo Alto, CA @ Mitchell Park Community Center El Palo Alto Room
Mark Kozelek With Ben Boye And Jim White 2 is out 3/6/2020 on Caldo Verde.