Sun Kil Moon are a band, well, bloke, that’s kind of passed me by. Now I love a good middle-aged American singer-songwriter dude as much as the next – after all Bill Callahan and Mark Eitzel are regularly played round here – but you can have too much of a good thing. And whilst Mark Kozalek’s solo material has wandered through my Approved Mobile Listening Device occasionally, it’s never really stuck.
Until now, that is, with the release of his new LP1 Benji. Or at least, single “Ben Is My Friend”, which ends the album on a particular high. It’s a tale of writer’s block, of increasingly frustrating middle age, of leg pain, and of seeing a friend play to 8,000 people when you used to see him on tiny stages fourteen years previous. All these things I am more than familiar with (aside from the friend bit; none of my friends have quite found success in that way). This tale of understated woe may seem tedious; after all, a guy talking in a particular key about ordering crabcakes in a sports bar could become somewhat superfluous, but in Mark’s steady hand, with a sax-led backing, you find yourself singing along. Until you realise that you’re singing “Blue Crabcakes” in a tuneless warble far too loudly, and your loved ones are backing away slowly.
In short, the album seems good, so far; “Ben’s My Friend” is genius.
The Soundcloud is here, but some jackass posted it as “SK Moon”:
1 I am old.