Bill Callahan - Dream River

The artist once known as Smog is as addictive as ever...
Bill Callahan - Dream River

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.

8/10

Words: Gemma Hampson

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Listen to tracks by Bill Callahan via Deezer, below…

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