Sun Kil Moon has always been known for dense lyricism, and while this song may not be the most vocally packed, it is certainly the most personal from the band’s latest LP. Ben’s My Friend is one of the greatest mid-life crisis songs since LCD Soundsystem's Losing My Edge. Dealing with aging friendships, aching bones, an exhausted mind, and difficulty communicating, the song is centered around lead singer Mark Kozelek seeing a live performance by The Postal Service fronted by his friend Ben Gibbard, and the emotions that such a distant interaction with an old friend can cause. Aside from the weighty lyrics, Sun Kil Moon also adds their trademark classical guitar work, as well as a section of lounge inspired horns and some humorous lines (“Sports bar shiiiit”) to make a song that could otherwise be frightening and melancholy into something relatable and transformative.
Of course, we won’t soon forget his voice, either. But he knows as well as anyone that its the moments that matter: the first time you heard “All My Friends” surrounded by friends and sort of lost it; when you listened to “Losing My Edge”, chuckled, and then boned up on Can and Modern Lovers; going back to “Someone Great” after a loss. For a guy who once “vowed not to make personal music,” “Home” is a sentimental-yet-dignified last call. Murphy gets the last word: “If you’re afraid of what you need/ Look around you, you’re surrounded/ It won’t get any better/ So good night.”
“We produced a record for Adam Horovitz from the Beastie Boys called BS 2000 and as a gift to me he bought me a boombox with a cassette deck and a keyboard in it from a yard sale. That’s like a movie. Ad Rock from the Beastie Boys gave me a present, it’s a boombox with a keyboard and a beatbox in it. You can’t make that up. It had a beat already in it so I had an idea. I’m going to walk out, put that on a barstool, put a mike to it and just make s*** up to it. That’s what "Losing My Edge” was.“