A few weeks ago, Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek announced a new album called Welcome To Sparks, Nevada and shared its first single, a mellow and ruminative 11-minute song called “The Johnny Cash Trail.” Today, Kozelek has dropped a video for another song from the album. The new joint “Lemon Balm” is just as loose and tranquil as “The Johnny Cash Trail,” but it lasts a brisk six minutes — which, for Kozelek, is practically Ramones-level brevity.
As with “The Johnny Cash Trail,” “Lemon Balm” finds Kozelek in a considerably less spiky mood than he’s been on recent records. The track only features one anecdote, for instance, about an awkward encounter with a fan. “Lemon Balm” features a guest vocal from that dog’s Petra Haden, another survivor of the ’90s alt-rock days.
Kozelek directed his own “Lemon Balm” video, shooting it in stately black-and-white. In the clip, shot last week in San Francisco, we see Kozelek and Haden (that’s Haden, right?) going fishing on a pier and going to get sandwiches together. Kozelek also spars with somebody in a public park and lays in bed, reading to his cat. He looks happy, and he does not appear to acknowledge the existence of a global pandemic in any way. Check out the video below.
Welcome To Sparks, Nevada is out 9/7 on Kozelek’s Caldo Verde label.