Thursday, 15 October 2009

Records That Shaped The 2000s - Sun Kil Moon "Ghosts Of The Great Highway" (2003)

Sun Kil Moon - Ghosts Of The Great Highway (Jetset 2003)
Folk Rock/Slowcore

Sun Kil Moon, otherwise known as Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters, is somewhat of a musical genius. I've never met the guy before but he seems to know everything about me (and you for that matter) and it's all here, in the shape of these songs. Ghosts Of The Great Highway is not just a record I think every music fan just own from the decade, it's an album that I wish I could have written, even if it's just so I could sit with acoustic guitar in hand in the corner of a small cafe on an open mic night and pour my heart out.

"Sun Kil Moon is the current project of singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek, best known for his previous band, Red House Painters. Sun Kil Moon sees Kozelek undertake all the writing, composing, singing and guitar playing accompanied by Tim Mooney and Anthony Koutsos (also an ex-member of RHP) on drums, and Geoff Stanfield on bass. The band is named after korean bantamweight boxer Sung-Kil Moon.

Their debut album, Ghosts of the Great Highway, was written entirely by Kozelek, and released by Jetset Records in 2003. It is an album centered around the theme of memory, connecting Kozelek’s haunting memories with the true-life stories of deceased boxers, such as featherweight champion Salvador Sanchez and flyweight Pancho Villa."

GOTGH is as intimate as it gets, I don't think you can listen to this record without actually feeling like you were in the room when it was recorded. It's also warm, if you read the back story to the album; tragedy and heartbreak, yet Mark Kozelek serves it all up on a plate that makes you feel ok, like he's reaching out to give you a hug when you're down.

Carry Me, Ohio is my personal favourite off the album and it's also a highlight in the world of music in the '00s, this is perfection. It's so strong that it usually makes me want to cry, it's haunting without really giving you that kick of depression. I can't sit here and write a load of lines describing what the reason was behind the song or who it's really about, all I can do is sit here and think about what Mark (or someone he knows) must have been going through to write such a delicate song. It also makes me want to reflect on my own life, the choices, friends lost and road not yet taken. To me, this is what hearing a song for the hundredth time should be all about and that is what makes this whole record timeless.

The way this record seems to be able to convey every emotion in the human body is beyond me, this is more than music, this is a reflection of modern day living without the subject being relevant to anything in today's society. Mark Kozelek doesn't have the best tone, the music isn't catchy enough to be sitting at the top of the mainstream record charts, this isn't about that, it's about an album that has been written with a labour of love, loss and new beginnings that every listener can connect to.

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