Mark Kozelek / Jimmy LaValle

Perils from the Sea

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    8
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Perils from the Sea, a surprisingly absorbing collaboration between Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon frontman Mark Kozelek and Album Leaf mastermind Jimmy Lavelle, sounds exactly as one might imagine. Kozelek's richly detailed, impressionistic lyrics and laconic delivery, when paired with Lavelle's barebones bedroom electro-pop, are as engaging as they are impossibly lonesome, sounding on occasion like Kid A filtered through a Pacific Northwest skylight. Released on Kozelek's own Cobra Verde label and credited to Sun Kil Moon and the Album Leaf, the 10-track collection feels less like a product and more like an accidently overheard musical conversation between two of indie rock's most enigmatic personas. Opener "What Happened to My Brother," the track that initiated the project, is indicative of much of what is to follow, with Lavelle's minimalist, Postal Service-inspired, 8-bit sounding synth lines and antiquated drum machine patches falling effortlessly in step with Kozelek's evocative, Bay Area-inspired wordplay. At its best ("Baby in Death Can I Rest Next to Your Grave," "Here Come More Perils from the Sea," "Caroline," "Somehow the Wonder of Life Prevails"), Perils from the Sea skillfully bridges the gap between Kozelek's most recent offerings, which favored classical guitar and vocal over full-band arrangements, with the fuller sound of his Red House Painters and early Sun Kil Moon years, resulting in a listening experience that trades in the distant, narrative-driven opaqueness of Admiral Fell Promises and Among the Leaves for a newfound inclusivity that suits both parties.

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