Kozelek's New Album Muse: Modest Mouse
Equally at home with putting his unique spin on songs by AC/DC, Neil Diamond and John Denver as he is recording his own compositions, Mark Kozelek further indulges his interpretive bent on his next alEqually at home with putting his unique spin on songs by AC/DC, Neil Diamond and John Denver as he is recording his own compositions, Mark Kozelek further indulges his interpretive bent on his next album, "Tiny Cities." Due Nov. 1 as the first release on Kozelek's own Caldo Verde imprint, the set features 11 new versions of material originally recorded by veteran indie rock act Modest Mouse.
Although several cuts feature Kozelek performing solo acoustic, "Tiny Cities" is attributed to Sun Kil Moon, the band he debuted in 2003 with the acclaimed Jetset album "Ghosts of the Great Highway." Emily Herron guests on vocals on "Grey Ice Water."
Much in the vein of Kozelek's prior cover recordings, the material here is given completely new arrangements that bear little resemblance to the originals. The obscurity "Four Fingered Fisherman" has been transformed from a loose, extremely lo-fi exercise into a haunting, finger-picked solo guitar piece, while a string-tinged "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" generates its rhythm from Kozelek's phrasing instead of its prior quirky, funk gait.
Elsewhere, the artist injects a sense of optimism into "Neverending Math Equation" and strips the modern rock hit "Ocean Breathes Salty" down to its inherent bittersweet reflections on past and present.
"Tiny Cities" will be released on Rough Trade outside of North America, and will be available on vinyl via director Cameron Crowe's Vinyl Films label bolstered by an alternate version of "Exit Does Not Exist."
Kozelek is in the midst of a short North American tour with Low vocalist/guitarist Alan Sparhawk's new project, the Retribution Gospel Choir. The group plays Los Angeles tonight (Sept. 7). Although no Sun Kil Moon or solo dates are planned for the fall, Kozelek hopes to play select shows in the first part of 2006.
As previously reported, his cover of Neil Diamond's "Kentucky Woman" can be found on the new EP "Songs From the Brown Hotel," a companion to RCA's upcoming soundtrack for "Elizabethtown."
Here is the track list for "Tiny Cities":
"Exit Does Not Exist"
"Tiny Cities Made of Ashes"
"Neverending Math Equation"
"Space Travel Is Boring"
"Jesus Christ Was an Only Child"
"Four Fingered Fisherman"
"Grey Ice Water"
"Ocean Breathes Salty"