Photo by David Greenwald
There are a number of indie-folk musicians with large, intimidating catalogs. Will Oldham (under his various Palace monikers and most recently as Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy), Jason Molina (as Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co. and his own name) and Bill Callahan are foremost among them. Until this year, Callahan went by the name Smog — or (Smog). Make up your minds, guys.
Oldham is the only one I’ve really invested a lot of time and money in, but 2005’s A River Ain’t Too Much To Love drew me in like no Smog record had ever before. With that in mind, I was excited for this year’s Woke on a Whaleheart; unfortunately, the album’s Cat Power-y neo-Memphis soul isn’t the direction I was hoping for after the quiet, deftly recorded nuances of A River. That said, the album’s still good, and the one-two punch of “Diamond Dancer” and “Sycamore” is its highlight.
Bill Callahan – “Diamond Dancer”: mp3
Bill Callahan – “Sycamore”: mp3
from A River Ain’t Too Much To Love:
Smog – “Drinking at the Dam”: mp3 (BEST SONG EVAH)
(Woke on a Whaleheart is out now on Drag City)
The Clientele are playing at the Knitting Factory tonight. I’ll be there — if you see me, say hello.
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