I don't know Sun Kil Moon's catalog. It's just on more of those projects that I've always heard about, but never gotten around to listening to. This morning I started listening to Stranger In the Alps (is that a Big Lebowski tv edit reference?), the first full-length from Pheobe Bridgers, a young artist I've been hearing about a lot lately. "You Missed My Heart" came on just as I started the car, and never having listened to Sun Kil Moon, I just assumed it was an original. I had to drive through Wheeling on my way out to Colerain, and the song just had me right from the start. It's gorgeous. Beautiful piano arrangement; beautiful, brutal lyrics. Sad songs are the best songs, after all. Just as I came out of the I-70 tunnel, the lyric came on  "Driving into Wheeling and showing her off." I was sure I'd misheard. 

   "She wouldn't have any reason to write about Wheeling," I thought to myself.

Then came mention of the Ohio River, and of course at the end: "...downriver from the Moundsville Prison graveyard."

   I was sure I was losing my mind. I felt like Will Ferrell's character in Stranger Than Fiction. No one else hears this song and hears her talk about this place. I'm clearly hallucinating, it would just be too big a coincidence. B

   But what do you know? To my total shock, it turns out it's all real. Wheeling gets a shout out in a murder ballad. You can look up the original by Sun Kil Moon (I've heard it now, and it's beautiful, too), but check out Phoebe's take, it's perfect: 

BTW, her entire debut, Stranger in the Alps is already one of my favorite's of the year. 


- J

Joshua Lee