Admiral Fell Promises

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Admiral Fell Promises
Studio album by Sun Kil Moon
Released July 13, 2010
Genre Folk rock
Length 60:44
13:47 (bonus disc)
Language English
Label Caldo Verde Records
Producer Mark Kozelek
Sun Kil Moon chronology
Admiral Fell Promises
Among the Leaves

Admiral Fell Promises is the fourth studio album by American indie folk act Sun Kil Moon, released on July 13, 2010 on Caldo Verde Records.[1][2] Despite being released under the Sun Kil Moon moniker, the album features Mark Kozelek performing solo on acoustic nylon-string guitar.[3] Along with the standard CD release, the album was also released on vinyl in October 2010, which includes liner notes, lyrics, and two bonus tracks recorded live in Saint-Malo, France.[4][5]

Regarding the album, Kozelek noted: "With this record, I had a vision in mind. I wanted to make something that was very personal, that had a theme and a flow, musically."[6] Kozelek has subsequently named Admiral Fell Promises the album he is most proud of recording, stating, "Bury me with [Admiral Fell Promises]. That album is me at my best, my most focused. It's cohesive, beautiful and my playing was inspired by the legendary Andrés Segovia.[7]

A live version of the title track previously appeared on Mark Kozelek's 2001 solo release, White Christmas Live.

Background and recording[edit]

Regarding the decision to record Admiral Fell Promises alone on an acoustic nylon-string guitar, Mark Kozelek noted: "I was interested in classical guitar when I was younger, but got away from it. A few years ago, I picked up a Segovia five-CD set in New Zealand. Then came home, bought some classical records - by Liona Boyd, Ana Vidovic, Julian Bream. But I really fell in love with this record by Segovia. It's just called Segovia, composed by Tansman, Federico Mompou, and Maria Esteban de Valera. It was then that I decided, for my next record, that I wanted to play guitar and sing as beautifully as I could. With the classical guitar, the whole range of sounds is covered. Bass and drums would have swamped up the sound of this record. I wanted it to have the feel of those old classical guitar records."[6]

Kozelek would subsequently record the songs as he wrote them with engineer Aaron Prellwitz. Kozelek stated, "When I wrote a few songs over the past year, my friend Aaron would fly down and record them. We did that off and on from April of last year until April of this year. If you record a song while it’s fresh, the odds of you being happy with it are stronger. It’s when you've played a song a million times that you find yourself struggling to find the spark that made it good the first time."[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 77[8]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[9]
One Thirty BPM (80%)[10]
The Phoenix 4/4 stars[11]
Pitchfork Media (7.0/10)[3]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[12]
Sputnikmusic 3/5 stars[13]

Admiral Fell Promises was released to generally positive reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 based on reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received a favorable score of 77, based on 16 reviews.[8]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Mark Kozelek

No. Title Length
1. "Ålesund"   6:26
2. "Half Moon Bay"   6:53
3. "Sam Wong Hotel"   5:10
4. "Third and Seneca"   7:14
5. "You Are My Sun"   4:55
6. "Admiral Fell Promises"   3:51
7. "The Leaning Tree"   7:54
8. "Australian Winter"   4:40
9. "Church of the Pines"   6:05
10. "Bay of Skulls"   7:36
Vinyl-only bonus tracks
No. Title Length
11. "Australian Winter" (Live in Saint-Malo)  
12. "Blue Orchids" (Live in Saint-Malo)  

I'll Be There EP[edit]

A bonus EP titled I'll Be There was included with all purchases from Caldo Verde Records' website only upon the album's release date. Three of the four tracks are cover versions, with songs by Stereolab, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, and The Jackson 5 reinterpreted.[14] "I'll Be There" was originally performed live by Kozelek in the aftermath of Michael Jackson's death.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Third and Seneca" (Alternate Version) Mark Kozelek 7:41
2. "Tomorrow Is Already Here"   Tim Gane, Lætitia Sadier 2:10
3. "Natural Light"   Owen Ashworth 1:38
4. "I'll Be There"   Berry Gordy, Bob West, Hal Davis, Willie Hutch 2:20


  • Produced by Mark Kozelek
  • Engineered by Aaron Prellwitz
  • Photography by Nyree Watts
  • Design by David Rager


  1. ^ Caldo Verde Records
  2. ^ Pitchfork: Sun Kil Moon Announce New Album
  3. ^ a b Deusner, Stephen M. (13 July 2010). "Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Sun Kil Moon: Admiral Fell Promises". Archived from the original on 15 July 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Sun Kil Moon (news, dated April 2010)
  5. ^ Sun Kil Moon - Admiral Fell Promises - Limited edition white vinyl double LP
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "Admiral Fell Promises by Sun Kil Moon". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Archived from the original on 17 July 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2010. 
  9. ^ Jurek, Thom. "Admiral Fell Promises - Overview". Retrieved 13 July 2010. 
  10. ^ Cooper, Sean (23 July 2010). "Sun Kil Moon - Admiral Fell Promises Review". Retrieved 23 July 2010. 
  11. ^ Lundy, Zeth (7 July 2010). "Sun Kil Moon - Admiral Fell Promises - CD Reviews - Boston Phoenix". Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  12. ^ Cole, Matthew (12 July 2010). "Sun Kil Moon: Admiral Fell Promises". 
  13. ^ Ponton, Jared (10 July 2010). "Sun Kil Moon - Admiral Fell Promises Review". Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "Sun Kil Moon Breaks Your Heart with Some Jackson 5 » Cover Me". 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2011-11-02.