We Kiss on the Mouth But Still Cough Down Our Sleeves
The beauty of Tiny Cities -- Sun Kil Moon's new record of Modest Mouse covers -- surrounds Mark Kozelek's ability to make any song his own. This happened before with his solo AC/DC covers, as well as his John Denver compilation back in 2000.
Kozelek strips the Modest Mouse songs to just their lyrics, leaving even most of the melody behind. Then building upon this band's trademark acoustics, he creates something entirely new while remainging singularly Sun Kil Moon. I wasn't disappointed at all when I finally got the record, as each song holds up. It sounds exactly like you'd expect it to, which I find to be wildly satisfying.
This is without a doubt an Autumn record. That it's not released until November 1st shouldn't be a problem, as there will still be plenty of time left to enjoy it. Whenever I hear Sun Kil Moon all I can think about is the leaf-covered sidewalks of Cambridge, and walking home to my unfinished basement apartment. Despite the cold images and loneliness, this is a good memory for me.
Dramamine was actually the first Modest Mouse song I ever heard, and remains one of my favorites. My friend Bryce brought their first record back from Chile with him, having no idea who the band was (the pressing on Up records had no labeling on the CD itself, and the liner notes were long gone). And to hear this new version completely reawakens the song for me. Somehow, without the winding guitar line, or the amazing percussion line, the song still works in an entirely different way.
The new record, Tiny Cities, will be released Nov. 1 on Kozelek's Caldo Verde Records. You can preorder the record direct from our friends at insound. I highly recommend checking out the amazing Ghosts of the Great Highway album as well.