Some of you might have heard me talk about this before but I’m going to write about it anyway, particularly since a few of us are going to be seeing Mark Kozelek tomorrow evening. Based on his output over the past few years, I think Mr. Kozelek is gradually turning into James Taylor. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, his music is still beautifully written and performed but he has moved almost entirely away from the full instrumentation of Red House Painters or even the earlier Sun Kil Moon releases to the point that nearly everything, whether it be a Sun Kil Moon release or a solo release, is all just him alone with a guitar (what title it bears appears to be rather arbitrary at this point.) Honestly I was quite surprised to see that Among The Leaves actually bears the Sun Kil Moon moniker, although listening through it again as I am typing this, there are few songs here that are slightly more involved than anything from the Admiral Fell Promises album, such as The Moderately Talented Yet Attractive Young Woman VS. The Exceptionally Talented Yet Not So Attractive Middle Aged Man (and yes, that is all one title.) For anyone familiar with the Red House Painters catalog you might notice that distinctive RHP percussion sound on this one, which I guess shouldn’t be too surprising considering some of the old RHP crew have been with him all along although in an obviously limited capacity. Overall Among The Leaves is, to me, a good, solid album which I’m sure will continue to grow on me with subsequent listening, but I really miss the days of Mark with a real band and fully fleshed out songs whereas some of this newer stuff can sound like very well produced sketches. Either way, I still love you Mark.
Here is Black Kite, the closer from Sun Kil Moon – Among The Leaves.
Now take a listen to Last Tide/Floating from Sun Kil Moon – Ghosts Of The Great Highway.
Strangely that song is split into two tracks on the album despite the fact that it clearly is meant to be played together as one song.
And finally, have a listen to Moments, from Red House Painters – Ocean Beach.
Okay, so if you listened to all of that then you see what I’m talking about.
Anyway, there you have it, it’s cold outside and it seemed like some cold weather music was in order. I don’t know if anyone else is like me, but certain bands or songs just seem to be as synonymous with winter as heavy coats, like anything from Red House Painters. (Ocean Beach strangely has the ability to transcend the winter album to be an ‘at the lake’ album as well.)