Listen to Bill Callahan Strip Down the Smog Track “Let’s Move to the Country” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, October 19th, 2020  

Listen to Bill Callahan Strip Down the Smog Track “Let’s Move to the Country”

Gold Record Due Out September 4 via Drag City

Aug 03, 2020
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Happy Bill Callahan Monday! For the past few weeks or so the singer/songwriter has released a new track every morning on the first day of the week. And today’s is extra special. We now have “Let’s Move to the Country,” a reimaged cover of a Smog track (Callahan’s old "band") from their 1999 LP Knock Knock. But for Callahan’s forthcoming LP Gold Record—due out September 4 via Drag City—we get the gentle musings of just Callahan, giving the song a whole new meaning. Listen below.

Callahan kind of writes like Raymond Carver—minimal, but still says just enough. In “Lets Move to the Country,” Callahan suggests him and his lover head away from reality as his “travels are over.” Originally written during a failing relationship, the Smog track that once had more of a desperate feeling with somber strings and persistent harmonies is now peeled back to just a soothing plucked melody. Callahan, now married with a kid even amended the lyrics: “Let’s start a family/Let’s have a baby/Or maybe two.” No need to escape anything here—he’s as happy as ever. 

Last week Callahan shared the neighborly “The Mackenzies,” and before that came “Protest Song,” “35,” and “Pigeons,” which humorously opened with Callahan declaring “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.” “Pigeons” was one of our Songs of the Week. After that, Callahan shared “Another Song,” a lovely melody about afternoon delight, meaning playing hooky from work to make love to your partner.

Gold Record is the follow-up to 2019’s Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest, released last June via Drag City. That was his first album in six years, since 2013’s Dream River, so Gold River represents a quick turnaround time for Callahan. Following Dream River Callahan got married and had a kid and after those big and happy life changes he had trouble tapping into his usual songwriting well. It seems like the songwriting is flowing more freely now. 

While prepping to go on a long tour for Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest and contemplating being away from his family for a long time, he pulled out some sketches from his notebooks and finished some of them. These are the images you see in each music video for Gold Record. The basics of Gold Record were recorded live with Matt Kinsey on guitar and Jaime Zurverza on bass.

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