In her poem Wild Geese, Mary Oliver explores what one must do in order to lead a good life. In it the speaker talks directly to her reader, imploring them to not worry so much about being good; rather, the reader should be true to nature and the beauty found in it. As someone who holds the natural world in similarly high regard, it’s fertile inspirational ground for Nina Kinert, who describes her own feeling while reading the poem as “a sort of wanderlust, travelling of the mind in a time when we all need to stay put to stay safe.” The result is a brief but beautiful ballad which not only has the heartbreakingly poignant piano you’d expect, but a pan flute, which adds further a further atmospheric layer to a hauntingly lovely piece of music.
Since releasing one of the greatest albums of the last decade with Benji, Sun Kil Moon’s output has been patchy at best. Much of his music has been defined by meandering narratives about topics ranging from the mundane to the controversial, which in recent years seems to have drifted into tiresome self-indulgence or downright fury at whoever the latest person, place or thing he feels slighted by. At his best though, there are few other artists that can conjure such a visceral, immediate sense of time and space, and Snowbound is an example of just how beautiful and evocative his music can be when he gets it right.