Sun Kil Moon

Sun Kil Moon Biography

Ghosts of the Great Highway is the remarkable debut album from Mark Kozelek's long-anticipated new band, Sun Kil Moon. As anyone who has followed Kozelek’s career over the past twelve years expects, the songs featured on Ghosts of the Great Highway carry with them a perceptible amount of intrigue with the joys and struggles of everyday life. But while the songs often concern themselves with the frightful power of memory and the romantic lure of looking back, they are fueled by the propulsive energy that occurs when a new band finds its spark. The new band’s chemistry is undeniable.

Whether it’s the gorgeous string trio underpinning “Last Tide,” Kozelek’s stunning jump to the falsetto register for “Duk Koo Kim,” the unexpected driving post-punk rhythms of “Lily and Parrots,” or the compelling personal reminiscences of “Floating,” the material simultaneously expands and refines Kozelek’s trademark sound. He has always used songwriting to redefine the past and to better understand the future; nowhere is that more evident than on this most recent collection. The songs on ‘Ghosts of the Great Highway’ concern themselves more than ever with matters of life and death, without ever forgetting the inherent magic of a pretty melody or a gripping beat.

Collectors may immediately recognize “Duk Koo Kim,” as two solo versions of the song appeared on a limited edition 10-inch record issued by film director Cameron Crowe’s Vinyl Records earlier in 2003. However, the version here pushes the limits even further, building slowly to a dizzying climax of Portuguese guitar and xylophone as the song heads over the fourteen-minute mark. “Salvador Sanchez” recalls the Crazy Horse-styled guitarplay of the Red House Painters’ ‘Songs for a Blue Guitar ‘, and pays tribute to the boxer who lost his life in his early twenties. “Glenn Tipton,” named for the Judas Priest guitarist, speaks of Tipton, his cohort KK Downing, Kozelek’s dad, and the passing of a local donut shop owner whom Kozelek had known over the years. “Carry Me Ohio” reflects on the world Kozelek left behind in his teens, whereas “Lily and Parrots” was written after a walk through Kozelek’s favorite San Francisco neighborhood, Telegraph Hill.

Ghosts of the Great Highway was recorded in San Francisco between March 2002 and May 2003 with drummers Anthony Koutsos (Red House Painters) and Tim Mooney (American Music Club), Seattle bassist Geoff Stanfield (formerly of Black Lab), and a string trio from the San Francisco Conservatory. The album was recorded by San Francisco engineer Aaron Prellwitz (Red House Painters, Hella).

Mark Kozelek recorded six studio albums with Red House Painters, three solo albums, including ‘What’s Next to the Moon,’ a collection of AC/DC songs reinterpreted and served as producer for ‘Take Me Home: A Tribute to John Denver.’ The two-CD ‘Retrospective’ collects various rarities and live tracks and favored RHP material. Kozelek has toured with his band and as solo performer throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden and South Korea. He scored the independent film ‘Last Ball’ and acted in Cameron Crowe’s critically acclaimed ‘Almost Famous.’ His music has been licensed and featured in television programs and several films, including the recent ‘Vanilla Sky’. Recently, a selection of Kozelek’s lyrics were published as a limited edition book, “Nights of Passed Over,” in Portugal.

Mark Kozelek will tour with Sun Kil Moon in early 2004. He will also to perform songs from the album during a number of acoustic shows around ‘Ghosts of the Great Highway’s release date.

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