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Album review: Bill Callahan, Dream River (Drag City)


Bill Callahan's follow-up to 2011's gorgeous Apocalypse finds him in the company of a small, discreet band, whose gentle shuffles are coloured mostly by guitar, fiddle and flute, as his muse flits haphazardly about him. A line from “Spring”, “My eyes are still forming the door that I'm walking through”, suggests the extempore writing style that ties these songs so loosely together. Pastoral metaphors predominate, the relationships of eagle and seagull with river and sea contrasted with the human arcs described in “Javelin Unlanding” and “Ride My Arrow”. Ultimately, Callahan ends up heading for home in “Winter Road”, faith in his muse confirmed again: “I have learned to just keep on when things are beautiful”. As they so often are here.

Download: Javelin Unlanding; Ride My Arrow; Seagull; Winter Road