Massillon native Mark Kozelek has been making music in San Francisco for more than 15 years, delivering a consistent output of intimate slo-mo folk-rock. As frontman for '90s mopesters Red House Painters, he scored a minor hit with an unrecognizable cover of the Cars' "All Mixed Up." Three years ago, the second Sun Kil Moon album featured similarly reimagined — and incredibly mellow — versions of 11 Modest Mouse songs. April finds Kozelek delivering his first batch of original tunes since Sun Kil Moon's superb 2003 debut, Ghosts of the Great Highway. Fans know what they're getting into: simple acoustic arpeggios, atmospheric strings, and the occasional Neil Young-style electric solo. It's beautiful, nostalgic rainy-day music, with Kozelek's voice still among indie-rock's most honest and affecting. Factor in dream-team guest harmonies from fellow melancholy master Will Oldham, and ghostly tracks like "Unit Hallway" and "Heron Blue" really take off. Relatively speaking, of course.
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