Lush arpeggios, Mark Kozelek’s weary, been-to-the-bottom-of-a-bottle voice and the tale of the travelling musician, dappled with visions of aching nostalgia and a father’s childhood, makes Sunshine in Chicago an enthralling listen.
The subject matter reads like an entry from Mark’s diary (a feature which is pretty ubiquitous in Sun Kil Moon’s oeuvre); a notice of inspection from Air Canada, hotels in Chicago, and notes from fans, all gets tangled up among a luscious guitar line, that haunting voice, and the occasional harmony.
The song brilliantly details the life of a middle-aged musician; content with foot massages but always yearning for early days of glory, “my band played here a lot in the 90s/ when we had lots of female fans and fuck they all were cute”, contrasting this with his current audience, “guys in tennis shoes”.
Sunshine in Chicago is a musing on the well-travelled musician; the monotony of checking into a new hotel which feels just like the last; all punctuated by a lullaby-like guitar line and the sprinkling of a xylophone, which glistens and sparkles, lending a softer touch to Mark’s gravely voice.
Review by Tom Proctor |