Sun Kil Moon
Mark Kozelek doesn't use metaphors. He doesn't need to.
Through the entirety of Benji he manages to weave stunningly depressing stories of death, jealousy, mass shootings, sexual discovery and (strangely) the Postal Service, but never needs to once delve into hyperbole. Who would want to, when not one but two of the songs on the album are about people that died from fires triggered by aerosol explosions.
Benji drips with a rawness and honesty that induces an extreme emotional connection from the listener. You feel you know these characters, can see their faces, can touch their blistering skin. They're as captivating as the hell he seems to live in throughout the record.
Yet, despite its bleak subjects, this isn't a cold album. Its sounds are rich and warm and resonate like a brightly burning fireplace between your ears. Okay, burning fires was probably not the best analogy...
Kozelek's arrangements rarely escape the grips of an acoustic guitar and his mumbling, slightly cracked voice draws you closer and closer like a low-talker in a sports bar — somehow all the more making the whole sensory experience of Benji more intimate.
Mark Kozelek doesn't use metaphors. He doesn't need to. He uses life.