Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon’s latest release, following on from his solo-effort ‘Like Rats’, which was released back in February, sees him joining forces with The Album Leaf’s front-man Jimmy LaValle. The collaborative effort of the duo has produced ‘Perils From The Sea’, which combines Kozelek’s distinctive vocal style, and his lyrics, with LaValle’s electronic twinged music. The result is an incredibly charming downbeat album that sounds like a more lo-fi version of The Postal Service. Kozelek’s haunting lyrics work seamlessly with LaValle’s electronic music that offers a new slant on Kozelek’s incredibly distinctive style. The collaborative effort on this album works incredibly well to help highlight what is best of both musicians.
‘Perils From The Sea’ is an incredibly downbeat album, featuring very sparse instrumentals that accompany Kozelek’s vocals. Considering the style Kozelek has used before on not only his solo-efforts, but with Sun Kil Moon and Red House Painters, it is a match that works incredibly well. It kind of felt like an electronic style wouldn’t suit the honesty and beauty of Kozelek’s lyrics, but it seems Kozelek’s partnership with LaValle has come off perfectly, as it is easily one of the best records Kozelek has released so far. The album features some of Kozelek’s most deepest and personal songs to date, which contain an incredible amount of emotion through the poetic lyrics Kozelek has written. When this is combined with LaValle’s delicate and at times, haunting instrumentals, it creates a beautifully harrowing album that tugs at the heartstrings.
There’s a lot to enjoy on ‘Perils From The Sea’, with the raw emotions coming through in fine style. It seems though that there are an incredible amount of lengthy songs, which to some people, might be perceived as perhaps dragging on a little. It’s something Kozelek has been guilty of most of his career, and it seems he hasn’t been able to let go of it on ‘Perils From The Sea’. However, on ‘Perils From The Sea’, whilst it does contain incredibly lengthy songs, it seems that there is a wonderful flow to every song, with the lyrics being at the forefront of every track and slowly pushing the narrative along. If one simply lets the music wash over them, and pays attention to everything Kozelek is singing about, then the lengthy track times and the problems it possesses simply vanishes, with a beautiful album simply playing it’s haunting music.
‘Perils From The Sea’ is simply a wonderful record, combining the brilliant talents of two brilliant song-writers. It should be said, that ‘Perils From The Sea’ does feel a lot like a Mark Kozelek record than anything else, but it should also be said that the efforts of Jimmy LaValle play such an important part in it, that it does also feel like an incredible collaborative effort. LaValle’s instrumentals add to the beauty of Kozelek’s lyrics and vocals, and helps present an album that Kozelek would never have been able to do alone. It is one of the most impressive releases this year, and one can only wish that this isn’t a one-off album, as a partnership between Kozelek and LaValle again in the future would just be a wonderful thing to happen to music.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
- Ceiling Gazing
- By The Time That I Awoke
- Somehow The Wonder Of Life Prevails
‘Perils From The Sea’ by Sun Kil Moon & The Album Leaf is out now, and can be purchased on Itunes or streamed on Spotify.