Sun Kil Moon April

Sun Kil Moon April
Mark Kozelek rarely disappoints. In his decade-and-a-half career, the songwriter behind Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon has released consistently solid collections of teary-eyed Americana that are frighteningly introspective and, above all, beautiful. This continues with April, Sun Kil Moon’s first proper full-length since 2003’s widely praised Ghosts of the Great Highway. Like much of Kozelek’s post-Painters work, April draws strength from his trademark technique of unfolding lengthy, picturesque narratives alongside hypnotic three-chord patterns, both electric and acoustic. With his sombre tenor as a guide, these epic tales of love and loss twist through a maze of emotion, highlighting each delicate subtlety and elusive folk rock nuance. A supporting cast of rhythm players and vocalists (most notably Ben Gibbard and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy) also provide some added dynamics but rarely if ever take the spotlight. In a sense, April has simply picked up where Ghosts left off, but with Kozelek’s delivery sounding more surefooted and the album more cohesive, this is one of his most stunning musical statements to date. (Caldo Verde)