we’re only a month and a half into the new year and there have already been a few great album drops. today is no exception with the release of mark kozelek’s latest album under his sun kil moon name. hell, even pitchfork agrees, and that pretty much never happens.
sun kil moon. this album carries so much beauty. full of heart-wretching lyrics, truths, and the mindless lyric rambles kozelek is known for. like his other albums, the album wreaks of melancholy, a tone i’ve loved for as long as i can remember. he does manage to work in a few quirkier tunes with “dogs” and the closing track, “ben’s my friend.” i also love how he worked in panera bread into two separate songs (i’ll let you listen to figure out which two).
“carissa” kicks off the album with a somber tone, telling the story of his second cousin, whom he barely knew, but took a familial liking to, and her tragic death. and, like albums of the past, he’s tossed in the names of his friends like ben gibbard of the postal service. likely two of my favorite tracks are those he wrote about his mom, “i can’t live without my mother’s love” and his dad, “i love my dad,” which show a side of kozelek not often seen.
since my first listen of this album over a week ago, i’ve replayed it more times than i have fingers. and on snowy days or cold days, or even cloudy days, it’s the perfect album. probably one of my favorites, although i’ve nearly loved every sun kil moon and red house painters album.
favorite track(s)?: carissa, richard ramirez died today of natural causes.
mark kozelek + desert shore. i had the pleasure of being introduced to mark kozelek by a pretty awesome human being. while i may be a lover of almost all music, i have a huge love of depressing and melancholy music. most people loathe this kind of music, but there’s
almost always a beautiful story weaved within the music notes. call me crazy, but the more depressing, the better the song. back on my birthday, i was able to catch mark kozelek in denver for an acoustic show at the soiled dove. so, i’ve heard many of these songs before getting my hands on the full album. what’s beautiful about them is the full band. i’m a big sucker for an acoustic show, but, as i mention above, the combination of the music + lyrics only makes these songs come to life so much more. one of my faves off this album include livingstone bramble for his continued expression of his hatred of nels cline (. another fave is travoris cloud because he shows a little love to his deceased friend tim mooney of american music club. i make no promises that you’ll love this album as much as i do, but i can only hope you can see the beauty in the melancholy.
ty segall. we might as well keep the dark theme going. ty segall’s lastet album “sleeper” is hardly that. the dark lyrics and melodies are a reflection of all of the trouble life through his way in the last year. this is also the first album he recorded where he didn’t have the stress of a regular day job to trip him up. i think it really shows; and the freedom he had really allowed him to explore and stretch his music. this album has definitely demonstrated his growth in the last year — one where he released a handful of EPs and LPs. while only 35 minutes in length, it’s the perfect album for that rainy monday in the office. or any monday really (let’s just say I also had this album on repeat yesterday). not to mention, it has this fantastic 60’s and 70’s rock vibe that i just love. fave track? “she don’t care.”
john mayer. i don’t really care if you love john mayer or not. this guy can play the guitar. i’ve managed to catch three of his live shows, and i’ll gladly just listen to him jam on the guitar. he doesn’t need to sing, honestly. but, i know there are plenty of john mayer haters out there. his latest album has more of a folkier feel to it than his albums of the past. channeling artists like bob dylan and lord huron. and, it has a much more upbeat tempo to it — a reflection of where he is in his life right now. clearly a happy man, collaborating with the likes of frank ocean (a personal fave of mine) and girlfriend katy perry, who has been tremendously supportive of his journey to record this album (she even appears on the track “who you love.”). i think country fans might be warm to this album. it’s a good “driving in the mountains on a summer day with the jeep top off” sort of album. my personal fave track happens to be “dear marie.”
hope one of these albums makes your ears happy today.