10 Songs, 1 Hour 29 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Confessional” doesn’t even begin to describe Sun Kil Moon frontman Mark Kozelek’s style of stream-of-consciousness songwriting. In the past, he’s managed to sing about the inability to endure during sex; the number of calls he received from his hometown’s area code when he found out his cousin died in a fire; his nagging prostate gland; back pain. On This Is My Dinner, his second album of 2018 (with another on the way in early 2019), he continues to mine perspective (and humor) from the banality of his day-to-day over jazz-informed alt-folk/rock instrumentals. But what were once short tableaus about wandering San Francisco’s streets to buy lampshades are now observations and reflections, originating from his travels through the colder part of Europe, eclipsing 10 minutes in length. A flight to Poland yields “Linda Blair,” on which Kozelek imitates a coughing child, gargling like Regan in The Exorcist. You can’t help but chuckle when he delivers, plainspokenly, “I hope it’s just a common cold/And nothing too serious,” before he switches tone and confides, “If it's a serious medical condition/I hope the Lord blesses her.” In the same song, when he paints a complex portrait of boxer Andrew Golota, he finds real sadness in the fighter's punchline of a career, but it’s Kozelek's stunning gift for detail—“He put his left jab out like a kitten/Trying to paw a bedsheet/Hanging out to dry”—that leaves you breathless.

EDITORS’ NOTES

“Confessional” doesn’t even begin to describe Sun Kil Moon frontman Mark Kozelek’s style of stream-of-consciousness songwriting. In the past, he’s managed to sing about the inability to endure during sex; the number of calls he received from his hometown’s area code when he found out his cousin died in a fire; his nagging prostate gland; back pain. On This Is My Dinner, his second album of 2018 (with another on the way in early 2019), he continues to mine perspective (and humor) from the banality of his day-to-day over jazz-informed alt-folk/rock instrumentals. But what were once short tableaus about wandering San Francisco’s streets to buy lampshades are now observations and reflections, originating from his travels through the colder part of Europe, eclipsing 10 minutes in length. A flight to Poland yields “Linda Blair,” on which Kozelek imitates a coughing child, gargling like Regan in The Exorcist. You can’t help but chuckle when he delivers, plainspokenly, “I hope it’s just a common cold/And nothing too serious,” before he switches tone and confides, “If it's a serious medical condition/I hope the Lord blesses her.” In the same song, when he paints a complex portrait of boxer Andrew Golota, he finds real sadness in the fighter's punchline of a career, but it’s Kozelek's stunning gift for detail—“He put his left jab out like a kitten/Trying to paw a bedsheet/Hanging out to dry”—that leaves you breathless.

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