Friday, September 27, 2013

Sun Kil Moon - 'Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes'

I've been a fan of Sun Kil Moon, aka Mark Kozelek, since I first heard "Carry Me Ohio" in about 2003.  That feeling was only reinforced for me when his LP of heartachingly understated Modest Mouse covers, called Tiny Cities, was released in 2005.

Kozelek just released a new track off his forthcoming 2014 album, Benji.  It's called "Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes" and, boy... it. is. raw.

The lyrics and title refer to Richard Ramirez, the infamous serial killer, who incidentally died from cancer in June of this year, while awaiting execution on death row.

The song starts with Kozelek's haunting guitar and leads into a nearly stream of conscious-like paranoid reflection on the scariest parts of growing up and growing old.  Soon, Kozelek's vocals start to pile on top of one other in staggered, unnerving layers.  By the time the drum finally kicks in during the last third of the song, it feels like a wave of relief crashing against the rocks.

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