SUN KIL MOON – ” Ben’s My Friend “

Posted: December 5, 2014 in MUSIC
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Mark Kozelek’s songwriting sure has evolved a lot over the years since the early days of Red House Painters. In recent years the slowcore founding father’s transformation has been especially evident, and nowhere is that truer than “Ben’s My Friend,” the closing track from the forthcoming Sun Kil Moon album “Benji” . Kozelek has always leaned toward the plainspoken as a lyricist he writes what appear to be basically a series of detail-laden short stories all seem to be autobiographical, with songs such as “Sunshine In Chicago” functioning as play-by-play travelogues. That’s truer than ever on “Ben’s My Friend.” As with the other songs we’ve heard from “Benji” especially “Richard Ramirez Died Today Of Natural Causes,” adopted the syllable-cramming cadence of his trusted muse Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock, but this time out Kozelek’s traded Brock’s quirky, effects-laden guitar squeals for saxophone-infused mid tempo lounge styled sounds. It exists in an entirely different sonic universe from the stone-faced melodrama of Red House Painters’ “Have You Forgotten” or even the spare acoustic plucking of Sun Kil Moon’s Modest Mouse covers album. There are a lot of ways to sing a sad song with an acoustic guitar!

Kozelek’s latest sonic realm is the background for a story about Kozelek going to see the Postal Service. He feels old amongst a crowd of 8,000 twentysomethings, and tinges of jealousy spring up when he thinks back to when he first met Ben Gibbard at a festival in Spain in 2000, when his band was outdrawing Gibbard’s. Hearing a line like “The other night, I saw the Postal Service/ Ben’s my friend, but getting there was the worst” in a song .

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