From the opening lines of “Carissa”, you realize this isn’t a happy go lucky listen. Not that Sun Kil Moon ever is. Even when covering Modest Mouse, it’s pretty slow going and dark. But this album is 11 originals that stick in the gut like…hell, I don’t know. It’s just powerful stuff. The storytelling is perfect but you almost need to be in the right state of mind to appreciate it. After listening to the first three songs, I assumed that this was an artist pouring his heart out and that all of the stories were true. And I have no reason to believe they aren’t after searching the internet a bit. (I could be wrong. I didn’t search too much as I like to draw my own conclusions from the stories/songs.)
“Carissa” talks about the death of a distant cousin and how, even though the artist hasn’t seen her in years, it affects him deeply. He is searching for the meaning of it all. How could she just take her trash out and die? She’s young. She has a daughter. He has to go see it himself and find some love from the family.
“Jim Wise” talks of a man mercy killing his wife and how he is awaiting trial. It’s a love song.
“I Love My Dad” sees a grown man forgiving his dad for childhood abuse, and shows how even when parents aren’t perfect, they can teach you a lot.
I think it comes down to being human. It’s ugly, dirty, and incomprehensible at times. There’s death, love, questions, all bouncing around with hope, prayer and depression. I wish I could do this album justice and put my feelings into words, but that’s just not happening. I think it’s something you have to experience. I highly recommend giving this one a good listen.
RIYL: A swift kick in the gut, rainy Fridays, Simply Limeade
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