The artist formerly known as Smog, Bill Callahan remains as addictive as ever on this fourth set released under his own name.
‘Dream River’ is a slow burner: deep, heavy and brooding. Callahan’s baritone is gruff, minimalist of melody, propped by the most beautiful and simple flute, winding violin, a beat of brushes and blocks, and slide, space or bubbling guitar.
The album lacks the immedicacy of 2007’s ‘Woke On A Whaleheart’ or 2009’s ‘Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle’, it’s a naturally strong progression from the immediately preceding ‘Apocalypse’ of 2011. Here, we hear hints of funk, jazz, Americana and folk – and before you know it, the album’s ingrained itself.
Callahan has an extraordinary talent: he can whisk the listener into a trance-like state with what feels like the absolute minimum of effort. Which can only mean that ‘Dream River’ represents another exercise in genius songwriting and production from the Maryland native.
Words: Gemma Hampson
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Listen to tracks by Bill Callahan via Deezer, below…