For Mark Kozelek, 2014 has been transformative. The 47 year-old Ohio native has morphed from an introspective musician, rapt painfully by his surroundings, and loved dearly for using nearly an album every year as a journal-like outlet for the ‘heaviness of everything’, into something of a churlish deity: feared and capricious and divine.
After giving his disciples the gift of Benji – a commandment executed with the horrifying grace of Admiral Fell Promises and Among the Leaves – he shifted to sacrificing The War on Drugs with a series of arbitrary, brazen attacks in the only way Kozelek knows, through songwriting.
Now, ‘The Possum’ is something of an act of god. It’s a 9 minute musing on Kozelek and his girlfriend Caroline witnessing a possum die on an Easter Sunday. Combining the staccato spewings of ‘Ben’s My Friend’ and winsome guitar plucking of ‘I Watched the Film the Song Remains the Same’, it serves as an expose of Kozelek’s powerful talent and a reminder that he is in control of it all. “Cos he’s cute / and he’s down there / and he’s dying” he says at one stage, reminding that, from up there, he can see beauty in anything.