Ohio singer/songwriter Mark Kozelek returns to Brighton on Saturday 1st August, thanks to Melting Vinyl, for what promises to be a thrilling show at St George’s Church. The former Red House Painter will be presenting songs from his highly acclaimed albums ‘Benji’ and ‘Universal Themes’.
The new album ‘Universal Themes’ is full of small human details and a sense of compassion, well expressed in the song ‘With A Sort Of Grace I Walked To The Bathroom To Cry’ which talks about walking around the neighbourhood and seeing “poetry in every inch of it”.
Brighton Source spoke to Mark Kozelek.
“I think it’s a disservice to try to explain the title (of ‘Universal Themes’) but I believe that all of our lives are profound, even the mundane details are full of poetry.”
“There was no plan with the new album. There were some lyrics written, some on the spot, snapshots of random things that happened last year and early this year. I wasn’t going for profound or dark or light – just sharing experiences.”
“I just respond to the music that is put in front of me. It’s like a conversation. If someone says something to you, you will reply. It’s the same with music. When I hear a piece of music, I reply.”
The new album feels almost laid back, full of humour and warmth.
If ‘Universal Themes’ is characterised by the poetry in the mundane, ‘Benji’ was overshadowed by death and heartache. “There wasn’t as much death around me in 2014 as there was in 2013,” Mark notes. The songs on ‘Universal Themes’ seem to come more easily.
“Waking up in the morning is my muse. watching this CNN special right now about serial killers in the 1970s is my muse. Waiting for the muse to come is laziness, inspiration is right in front of you, all the time, everywhere you go.”
Reviewers have also commented on the complexity and musical depth in the new album. Most of the music on the album came out of some improvisation in the summer of last year.
“I was so busy touring last year, I had no music written. Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) flew out and we met in the studio and jammed. I edited throughout the year and added lyrics as they came to me. Then I got together with an engineer and cut and edited stuff together but because of this, the songs ended up being very complex.”
Kozelek will be joined by his band at St George’s Church, “three bad ass m*therf*ckers” as he calls them. The venue is always special and promises a beautiful experience.
“Yeah, I’ve played this church before and I like a seated venue. The nylon string guitar sounds good in a church”.
St George’s Church, Kemptown, Saturday 1st August, 7pm
Buy tickets here.