Thom Jurek: ‘Those looking for a logical musical follow-up to Bill Callahan’s surprisingly accessible Sometimes I Wish I Were an Eagle from 2009 might scratch their heads at the sound on Apocalypse. The musical reference point in his catalog is, perhaps, A River Ain’t Too Much to Love, under the Smog moniker. It’s not that this recording resembles that one musically, so much as it employs outsider takes on American roots traditions to get its seven songs across. Apocalypse is a song cycle that places the usually extremely inward-looking Callahan in the unlikely role of observer and interpreter of various American myths; myths both externally held and culturally self-referential, that inform the interior world of the protagonist. Recorded and mixed in Texas and adorned by Paul Ryan’s iconic painting Apocalypse at Mule Ears Peak, Big Bend National Park in West Texas, the album portrays America in all its complexity from the vantage point of an empathic yet wryly humorous narrator. …… The album’s most melodic and utterly beautiful song is the confessional waltz “Riding for the Feeling,” with glistening electric piano and Wurlitzer played by Jonathan Meiburg. Closer “One Fine Morning” is a nearly nine-minute, lilting ballad that turns on a couple of chords, some pastoral yet jarring lyrics, and a gospel piano atop strummed guitars, which transmute the listener to another place and time. Bill Callahan – Apocalypse is a deceptively complex gem.’

 

Bill Callahan – Apocalypse

00:00 1. Drover
05:20 2. Baby’s Breath 5:20
10:49 3. America!
16:24 4. Universal Applicant
22:14 5. Riding For The Feeling
28:20 6. Free’s
31:33 7. One Fine Morning

Bill Callahan - Apocalypse

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