16 Jun 2015

Universal Themes by Sun Kil Moon

From The Sampler, 7:30 pm on 16 June 2015

Nick Bollinger digests the latest unfiltered download from the brain of Sun Kil Moon's Mark Zokelek.

Sun Kil Moon Universal ThemesFirst with Red House Painters and now as Sun Kil Moon, San Francisco-based songwriter Mark Kozelek has developed his increasingly idiosyncratic style. Though always personal, his songs have shed the last vestiges of metaphor, giving the impression that they have hardly been written at all, and that one is somehow plugging directly into the writer’s brain. On last year’s Benji - a hushed and harrowing set, mostly revolving around the deaths of friends and family members, whose fates he described in unflinching detail – this device proved compelling. But his latest attempts to demolish the line between thought and song can feel like a never-ending tour diary. And a recent outburst on a London stage, where he launched into an obscene taunting chorus naming Guardian journalist Laura Snapes, hardly taps a universal sense of humanity. Is the problem that Kozelek has decided that simply being honest, however juvenile or degrading, is valid artistic expression?

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