Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Year in Music #1: Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle - Perils from the Sea

In 2003, in the series of posts that kicked off this blog's existence, one of my top-rated albums was by an artist who was a new discovery for me.

I knew of Red House Painters, and would later become a fan of most everything by Mark Kozelek, but it was Sun Kil Moon's debut, Ghosts of the Great Highway, that was my starting point. 

That record is still the finest Sun Kil Moon's ever released, and perhaps is a better album than the two I ranked higher, but ten years later, Kozelek has finally made something worthy of the anticipation Ghosts stirred in me. 

Earlier this year, I referred to this collaboration between Kozelek and The Album Leaf's Jimmy LaValle as Postal Service for the older music fan. I think I really meant to call it Postal Service for those who like somber music. 

Perhaps that odd comparison only pertains to a few songs, but I think it does a pretty good job of describing the combination of Kozelek's sometimes dark, and always introspective, folksiness and LaValle's understated brand of electro-pop.

I've seen this album on only one critical year-end list (and one friend's list), so you might not be able to trust my unique opinion that this is the best album of the year, but if "Somehow the Wonder of Life Prevails" doesn't make you want to listen to the rest, then you're dead inside this probably isn't your thing. 

Either way, thanks again for reading, for helping me mark my 10th anniversary, and for being a part of another yearalbeit my least prolific in quite some timeof paying attention to what I have to say.

I hope your 2013 was as good as Mark Kozelek's was professionally (two different collaborations in my top 11), and mine was personally. 

Happy New Year and best of luck in 2014.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this, Chuck, It made me think about Sean, and more than a few tears were just shed.

    I don't feel you're off base describing it as "older". I think there's a willingness that older artists have to be literal that younger artists shy away from. The cauldron of real life experience renders it in unnecessary to do much more than simply state what happened - I loved someone, they died, it was devastating, life goes on somehow. There is nothing deeper, so no need to dress it up in metaphor.