The Needle Drop

Mark Kozelek - "This Is My Town" / "My Love for You Is Undying"

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Last month in his annual holiday letter, Mark Kozelek announced not one, but TWO new Sun Kil Moon albums that were in their final stages and would be released in 2018. The first of these is titled simply after the man himself and comes May 11 through Mark's Caldo Verde imprint. Along with the album's details come – again – not one, but TWO new singles, which clock in at over 20 minutes on their own. So they're already living up to the title of Mark Kozelek.

As stated in the year-end message, this batch of songs was recorded in hotel rooms by Mark alone, so we're in for a more modest and intimate project than, say, Common as Light. Also unlike that album, this new one will consist primarily of electric guitar and voice, with Steve Shelley contributing drums to just one track. Though there shouldn't have been any doubt, the Koz is still on his own level when it comes to crafting lovely guitar melodies, and it seems with every passing year his talk-singing matches that of Lou Reed more and more. Without spoiling too much about the storytelling of these two pieces, I'm gonna have to give the edge to "My Love for You Is Undying," which finds Mark flipping a few awkward and unpleasant encounters into something life-affirming. Its final verse is a highlight, featuring a callback to everyone's favorite Benji meme (that doesn't quite land with Mark) and a moment when he gets a little carried away with the end rhyme.

-Austen