8: Red House Painters’ Ocean Beach (1995)
Though there aren’t that many Red House Painters albums, the man behind the project, Mark Kozelek, has produced tons of amazing music over the years. Red House Painters was the first iteration of his work (he went on to do solo stuff and work as Sun Kil Moon, among other things), and the first stuff I ever fell for. It was just at the end of high school, when I was just discovering a lot of really incredible stuff. Stuff I’d kind of ignored for several years because I was immersed in hardcore punk shit. No regrets, just a big wide opening of the flood gates, really. Kozelek’s haunting voice and somewhat aching songs really resonated with me, and they still do. This record is incredibly open and dense, and it collects some of his most beautiful work. Even still, this record takes me back to that time but also sounds brand new and amazing each and every time I listen. It might be strange to pick “Shadows” as my shared track since it’s a piano / organ tune and Kozelek is known for his guitar work, but it’s my favorite tune on the record. If you’ve never listened to him before, starting here is the best place to begin.