Whether he's fronting Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon or simply working under his own name, Mark Kozelek makes some of the most beautiful and moving -- and sometimes darkly powerful -- acoustic music around.
His new album as Sun Kil Moon hit iTunes yesterday and it's his most personal release yet, with each song dealing not in universal themes but in very laser-point specific words about his life and feelings.
For most singer-songwriters this would feel terribly self-indulgent, but Kozelek makes it work because the entire record feels like a personal Psalm.
Here's the lovely I Can't Live Without My Mother's Love.
I have no idea what to make of this -- and I'm betting that's the most generous thing you're going to hear about it from anyone who considers him or herself a fan of Elliott Smith.Apparently, long before Smith died 11 years ago, he recorded some isolated vocal tracks for a possible collaboration with Soul Coughing's Mike Doughty. Some of what he sang would eventually go on to become Bottle Up and Explode -- one of my absolute favorite Smith songs -- and Going Nowhere. Doughty says that the vocals were always meant to be cut up, experimented with, and ultimately transformed into dance tracks and that Smith was okay with this.Whether he'd be fine with what Doughty has now created, though, is anyone's guess. Doughty says he recently found the vocal tracks on a cassette tape and he turned them into what he's calling honest-to-God EDM -- a genre title that didn't exist back when Smith was alive. It's fascinating to hear anything new and even kind of original from Elliott Smith, but given that he was so protective of his material and his legacy -- and this is a very far cry from the sound we've come to expect from him -- it feels a big sacrilegious. Decide for yourself, though.Take a listen to The Record, Dogs and Burn (Aah Fuck).