Mark Lanegan – El Sol

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Ellensburg’s Mark Lanegan sings like west of the Cascade curtain, all black and green with flashes of brilliant blue. If ever a voice were pulled howling up a mile of gravel road to be born feet-first into the yearning ear of a rock and roll audience, it is his.

You’ve encountered plenty of his work on these pages as the frontman for Screaming Trees. His solo recordings are expectedly more self-referential, allowing for tunes like this one, which appeared on ‘Whiskey for the Holy Ghost.’ This time of year you start to get an ear for songs like this: songs that strongly reflect the ponderous inevitability of a northwest winter (among other things).

The sun is gone, and that’s all I really know
No angels in the air
With hearts as good as gold
The closer you stand to the gates
The more the gates are closed

These darkened days
Make some bodies hunger and thirst
Blessed burns the sun
He’s throwin’ shadows on the earth
The shadow you find at the gate
And all the gates are closed

Anytime you find your race is run
Felt much colder standin’ in the sun
Waitin’ for some warmth and comin’ down
Felt much older than I really was
Waitin’ for some warmth and comin’ down

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