2015 has been a very busy year for singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek - since the release of Universal Themes (his seventh album with Sun Kil Moon), he has announced a new EP and spoken word project due out in October via his Caldo Verde label, as well as a full-length collaboration with post-metal act Jesu slated for February. Kozelek formed his first band, Red House Painters, in 1989 and hasn't seen much use in taking a break; his output has only picked up over the years. How he has managed to put out an emotionally resonant album almost every year of the past couple decades is beyond me. It's clear he loves and lives for music-making, but when you're writing songs that are sentimental and empathetic to the devastating degree he is, you've gotta figure it'd be exhausting. Yet it's hard to tire of it as a listener when Kozelek does well to complement the sentimentality and melodrama with a new approach to composition each time, marrying his lyrics with everything from elegant acoustic fingerpicking to lumbering hard rock grooves. He aims for an emotional reaction and I'll be damned if he doesn't get one from me every time. Hopefully this playlist brings you a few good cries and laughs, too.
The one glaring omission this time is something from Sun Kil Moon's debut, Ghosts of the Great Highway. It isn't on Spotify, so this song will have to stand on its own (which shouldn't be a problem):