Sun Kil Moon
Sun Kil Moon performing at Le Divan du Monde, (Mark Kozelek, Eric Pollard, Vasco Espinheira) Paris 2014
|Origin||San Francisco, California, United States|
|Genres||Folk rock, indie folk, slowcore, alternative rock, spoken word|
|Associated acts||Red House Painters, Jesu, Desertshore, Hunters Chorus|
|Members|| Mark Kozelek |
|Past members|| Tim Mooney |
Sun Kil Moon is an American folk rock act from San Francisco, California, founded in 2002. Initially a continuation of the defunct indie rock band Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon is now the primary recording moniker of vocalist and guitarist Mark Kozelek. The project is named after the Korean super flyweight boxer Sung-Kil Moon.
Following the delayed release of Red House Painters' final studio album, Old Ramon (2001), vocalist and guitarist Kozelek began recording new material under the name Sun Kil Moon with bandmates Anthony Koutsos (drums) and Jerry Vessel (bass), alongside Geoff Stanfield and Tim Mooney. The resulting album, Ghosts of the Great Highway , was released in 2003 to critical acclaim. The project's second studio album, Tiny Cities (2005), was composed entirely of Modest Mouse cover songs.
In 2008, the band released its third studio album, April . Recorded as a three-piece by Kozelek, Koutsos and Stanfield, the album was well received and featured guest vocal appearances from noted indie rock musicians Will Oldham and Ben Gibbard.
Inspired by classical guitar music, Kozelek recorded Sun Kil Moon's fourth studio album, Admiral Fell Promises (2010), as a solo act, and continued to record mostly alone on its follow-up, Among the Leaves (2012). In 2013, Kozelek released three studio albums under his own name before releasing Sun Kil Moon's sixth studio album, Benji , in February 2014, to widespread critical acclaim and increased exposure, with the band releasing their seventh studio effort, Universal Themes, in 2015. Sun Kil Moon's eighth studio album, Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood , was released in February 2017, which was followed by their ninth studio album, This Is My Dinner, in November 2018. The tenth Sun Kil Moon studio album, I Also Want to Die in New Orleans , was released digitally on March 1, 2019, and on CD on April 12, 2019.
Following the dissolution of Red House Painters after the tumultuous release of their last album, Old Ramon , Kozelek released a handful of solo recordings before forming Sun Kil Moon in 2002. The band's debut album, Ghosts of the Great Highway , was released in November 2003 by Jetset Records. It contains several songs concerned with true-life stories of deceased boxers, such as Mexican featherweight champion Salvador Sánchez, Filipino flyweight champion Pancho Villa, and also Korean boxer Duk Koo Kim, two of the three boxers died at the age of 23 as Kim died at 27. The album was well received by critics, garnering an overall rating of 84/100 on Metacritic.com.
The band's follow-up Tiny Cities was released in November 2005 on Kozelek's own label Caldo Verde Records. The album covers eleven songs by the indie/alternative group Modest Mouse. Ghosts of the Great Highway was re-issued as a double CD in February 2007 on Caldo Verde. The second disc features six bonus tracks, including a cover of "Somewhere" written by Leonard Bernstein.
Sun Kil Moon's third studio album April was released in April 2008and features guest vocals from Will Oldham and Ben Gibbard. The album was issued as a double CD, featuring a bonus disc of alternate recordings of album tracks. The album was met with further critical acclaim, including a 4.5/5-star rating from AllMusic and 4-star reviews from Billboard , Mojo , The Boston Globe , and Drowned in Sound .
Admiral Fell Promises was released on July 13, 2010,and whilst credited to Sun Kil Moon, only Kozelek plays on the record, on nylon stringed guitar, and vocals.
Among The Leaves , Sun Kil Moon's fifth studio album, was released on May 29, 2012. Tim Mooney, the band's former drummer, died in June 2012.
Sun Kil Moon's sixth studio album, Benji , was released in February 2014.The record met with critical acclaim, and was named in the Best of 2014 lists of Fact , Stereogum, Pitchfork, Rough Trade, Drowned in Sound, Tiny Mix Tapes, and the NME. Soundblab selected it as the best album of 2014.
Sun Kil Moon's seventh album of original material, Universal Themes , was released on June 2, 2015.The album features contributions from drummer Steve Shelley, who previously collaborated with Kozelek on the album, Benji.
On July 20, 2016 it was announced that Sun Kil Moon would release a new double album, Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood, on February 28, 2017. The announcement was accompanied by the release of a new song, God Bless Ohio.The album was released on February 17, 2017 with Caldo Verde Records. Mark Kozelek subsequently toured Europe, South America, and the United States, both as a solo act and with Sun Kil Moon, to promote the album.
On November 1, 2018, Sun Kil Moon released their ninth studio album, This Is My Dinner . The following year, their Tenth studio album was released, titled I Also Want to Die in New Orleans , named after the $uicideboy$ album I Want to Die in New Orleans .This album saw Kozelek working with Donny McCaslin and Jim White, the former being heavily present on David Bowie's 2016 album, Blackstar .
Kozelek is fascinated with the sport of boxing, and The name Sun Kil Moon was inspired by that of boxer Moon Sung-kil. Kozelek discussed boxing and the murder of Agapito Sánchez four years after a fight he witnessed in a 2012 interview:
Their backgrounds are extremely harsh and they work very hard to move up in their careers. I was in attendance at the Manny Pacquiao-Agapito Sánchez fight in San Francisco in 2001. When I heard Sánchez was murdered shortly after, it had a profound effect on me. It hurts when anyone dies young, but when you see the backgrounds of these guys and the path they've taken to try to find some light in their lives, it hurts to see them die young.
Several of the band's songs are inspired by the sport, such as "Duk Koo Kim".Duk Koo Kim was a Korean boxer who died after a nationally televised bout with Ray Mancini on November 13, 1982. Mancini is from Youngstown, Ohio, which is very close to Kozelek's hometown of Massillon. The triumph of the local hero soon turned into a tragedy that included the suicide deaths of both Kim's mother and the bout's referee, Richard Green. The song "Pancho Villa" is named after the Filipino boxer known by that name, and also mentions Salvador Sánchez and Benny Paret.
During live performances, Mark Kozelek is currently accompanied by:
Collaborations with Jesu
Ghosts of the Great Highway is the debut studio album by San Francisco quartet Sun Kil Moon, led by Red House Painters' founder Mark Kozelek, who composed all of the lyrics and music on this album. The other members are Anthony Koutsos, Geoff Stanfield, and Tim Mooney.
Mark Edward Kozelek is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist, record producer and occasional actor. He is best known as the vocalist and primary recording artist of the indie folk act Sun Kil Moon, with whom he has recorded ten studio albums, and as the vocalist, guitarist and founding member of the indie rock band Red House Painters, with whom he recorded six studio albums from 1989 until 2001.
Tiny Cities is the second studio album by American indie folk act Sun Kil Moon, released November 1, 2005 on Caldo Verde Records. The album features the same lineup as the band's debut, Ghosts of the Great Highway (2003). This album was chosen as one of Amazon.com's Top 100 Editor's Picks of 2005.
Little Drummer Boy Live is a double live collection by Mark Kozelek, released by his own label Caldo Verde Records on November 28, 2006. Former Red House Painters guitarist Phil Carney guests on guitar on some of the songs. The set is a limited edition release of 10,000 copies.
Caldo Verde Records is a San Francisco-based indie rock and folk record label founded by Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon frontman Mark Kozelek in 2005. The label primarily features releases by Kozelek and Sun Kil Moon, but has also released albums by Jesu, Corrina Repp, Retribution Gospel Choir, and Kath Bloom. Photographer Nyree Watts is the commissioned artist for Caldo Verde, as almost all of the releases on the label feature her photography.
April is the third studio album by American folk rock band Sun Kil Moon, released in the US on April 1, 2008 through Caldo Verde Records, and on April 18, 2008 in Japan via P-Vine Records. The album was recorded at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco and Well Recording in Seattle during a seven-month stretch from spring to late summer in 2007. The album was produced and written by Mark Kozelek. Will Oldham, Ben Gibbard and Eric Pollard lend their backing vocals throughout the album. The album also comes with a bonus disc of 4 alternate recordings.
The Finally LP is a compilation album by Mark Kozelek. The CD was released on December 9, 2008 via Caldo Verde Records. From the press release:
Over the years, Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon and his earlier band, Red House Painters, has gained well deserved praise for his extraordinary songwriting. At the same time, he has developed a parallel reputation for his unique covers of other people's material. Many of these tracks were recorded for tribute albums that are now unavailable. Caldo Verde Records has now collected them in a cohesive, 10-song CD titled The Finally LP.
Red House Painters were an American rock band, formed in San Francisco, California in 1988. They were one of the most prominent acts associated with the slowcore/sadcore subgenre. Fronted by primary songwriter Mark Kozelek, the band also included drummer Anthony Koutsos and bass guitarist Jerry Vessel. Guitarists Gorden Mack and Phil Carney both performed with the band during separate six-year tenures.
Admiral Fell Promises is the fourth studio album by American indie folk act Sun Kil Moon, released on July 13, 2010 on Caldo Verde Records. Despite being released under the Sun Kil Moon moniker, the album features Mark Kozelek performing solo on acoustic nylon-string guitar. Along with the standard CD release, the album was also released on vinyl in October 2010, which includes liner notes, lyrics, and two bonus tracks recorded live in Saint-Malo, France.
Among the Leaves is the fifth studio album by American indie folk act Sun Kil Moon, released on May 29, 2012 on Caldo Verde Records. Similar to Sun Kil Moon's previous studio album, Admiral Fell Promises (2010), the album is predominantly performed by founding member Mark Kozelek on a nylon-string guitar.
Perils from the Sea is a collaborative studio album by American singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek and multi-instrumentalist Jimmy LaValle, released on April 30, 2013 on Caldo Verde Records.
Live at Phoenix Public House Melbourne is a live album by American singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek, released on February 19, 2013 on Caldo Verde Records. Recorded on June 11, 2012, and released on the same day as Kozelek's covers album, Like Rats (2013), the album predominately features tracks from the then-recently released Sun Kil Moon album, Among the Leaves (2012).
Benji is the sixth studio album by American indie folk act Sun Kil Moon, released on 11 February 2014 on Caldo Verde Records. Self-produced by primary recording artist Mark Kozelek, the album shares its name with the 1974 film Benji, and was recorded between March and August 2013 at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco.
Mark Kozelek Sings Christmas Carols is a Christmas album by American singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek. It was released on November 4, 2014, through Kozelek's own record label, Caldo Verde Records.
Live at Biko is a live album by American singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek. It was released on July 1, 2014, through Kozelek's own record label Caldo Verde Records.
Universal Themes is the seventh studio album by American indie folk act Sun Kil Moon, released on June 2, 2015 on Caldo Verde Records.
Jesu / Sun Kil Moon is a collaborative studio album by American indie folk act Sun Kil Moon and British experimental act Jesu, released on January 21, 2016 on Caldo Verde Records and Rough Trade. The album also features guest musicians Will Oldham, members of Low, Rachel Goswell of Slowdive, and Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse. Jesu and Sun Kil Moon including drummer Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth played six shows in February and March 2016 to support the album.
Common as Light and Love Are Red Valleys of Blood is the eighth studio album by the American indie folk act Sun Kil Moon, self-produced by primary recording artist Mark Kozelek. The album was released on 17 February 2017 on Caldo Verde Records. It is a double album and comprises 16 tracks in total, being Sun Kil Moon's longest album to date.
Yellow Kitchen is a collaboration album between American musician and singer Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon and Sean Yeaton, bassist of Parquet Courts, released on June 30, 2017 by Caldo Verde Records, though available for streaming shortly prior to that. Kozelek and Yeaton met at a Dutch festival in summer 2016, and recorded and self-produced Yellow Kitchen from December 2016 to May 2017 in the United States. Guest appearances on the album include Steve Shelley and Jim White on drums and Holly Throsby and Will Oldham on vocals.
I Also Want to Die in New Orleans is the tenth studio album by American band Sun Kil Moon. It was released in March 2019 under Caldo Verde Records.