‘Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood’: Some Thoughts from a Mark Kozelek Fan

Vague Visages • Wave Faces

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Excluding Jesu/Sun Kil Moon (2016), Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood is Sun Kil Moon’s eighth studio album. When it comes to singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek’s extraordinarily prolific output, much of the recent critical discourse has been unfortunately truncated. Many reviews discuss this musician’s career as if it began in 2014 with the popularly lauded Sun Kil Moon record Benji. As a long-time fan and grossly inexperienced music critic, I intend in my own way to discuss this sprawling, ambitious and ferocious new record within the context of his whole oeuvre. Indeed, when reviewing a recent Kozelek record, it’s difficult to avoid my impulse for personal and anecdotal disclosure. When I was in my late teens, a friend gave me a copy of Down Colorful Hill, the 1992 debut record by Kozelek’s first band, Red House Painters. I was immediately taken by the album’s distinct…

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