Sun Kil Moon – Benji – new album

Benji-sunkilmoon

I’ve been listening to the new Sun Kil Moon album Benji a fair bit the past couple of days.

It’s deserving of all the hype it’s currently getting (a 9.2 on Pitchfork and an average of 87 on Metacritic) and a handful of the tunes on it have really got under my skin and started giving me goosebumps when I take repeat listens – like the first time I heard John Wayne Gacy, Jr. by Sufjan Stevens or Elliott Smith‘s Either/Or album.

It’s lyrically dense too and reads like an eloquent series of diary entries picked and chosen from Mark Kozelek‘s past, centering on an array of friends and family from the singer’s life, sad, often haunting tales and beautifully wordy introspection.

It’s dark in parts and many of the characters seem to die, but it’s never maudlin or self indulgent – far from it – it’s like listening to a series of really interesting short stories, except they’re brilliantly composed, acoustic songs, completely autobiographical and heartfelt.

I know it’s only February but I’ll be surprised if this isn’t up there on plenty of ‘end of year lists’ come December – it’s a great album, and a ‘must listen’ for fans of modern day Americana (and if I had to be crude I’d say particularly those who like the idea of a perfect blend of Modest Mouse, Bill Callahan and Elliott Smith).

Check out two of my favourite songs from the album below – Truck Driver and Pray For Newtown:

Benji is out now.

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