Listening to Bill Callahan {Smog}

I am listening obsessively to Bill Callahan’s (Smog) brilliant new album “Apocalypse”. By far my favorite Callahan album since he dropped his Smog moniker. The albums sound reaches back to the earlier Smog releases, and for me, the best stuff he has recorded since 1997’s “Red Apple Falls” or 2000’s “Dongs of Sevotion”……if you know anything of Bill and Smog, that’s quite a statement!

An under recognised pioneer of the lo-fi revolution of the late eighties/early nineties. Bill Callahan aka Smog is an enigmatic singer/songwriter whose odd, slanted and fractured music stands alone in an orbit and path totally unique to itself. Melancholy, poignant and self obsessed, Callahan’s output offers a peep-show into an insular world of alienation and inner turmoil, his painfully intimate songs wildly reenact  a scrapbook of childhood memories, failed relationships, bizarre fetishes and dashed hopes. All spoken/sung with Callahan’s velvety baritone dead pan voice, delivered with sarcasm, dark humour and a perfectly brilliant sense of observation.

       

“Over the course of his prolific career, Bill Callahan has wrapped himself in an almost Hamlet-like enigma. Is he really a tortured soul, destined to be plagued by violent memories, fear of death, and an overly potent imagination? Or is he just a master of disguise, a man with such a proficiency in the language of human emotion that he can draw hopes, dreams, fears, and defeats from the well of human experience, and seamlessly weave them together into a work all his own? I don’t know. But I do know that Callahan has cemented his place among America’s finest songwriters.”- Pitchfork.

    

Bill and then girlfreind Chan Marshall (Cat Power) 1998- possibly the coolest couple of the moment….


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