Bill Callahan's 12th full-length album as Smog, "A River Ain't Too Much To Love," will arrive May 31 via Drag City.
Bill Callahan's 12th full-length album as Smog, "A River Ain't Too Much To Love," will arrive May 31 via Drag City. The 10-track set was recorded at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studios in Austin, Texas, and features Connie Lovatt on bass and Jim White on drums; Callahan also produced. Labelmate Joanna Newsom plays piano on "Rock Bottom Riser."
"I realized I had a bunch of songs about rivers and some sort of imagery, and once I got a few of them it started to fit into everything I had half-finished" Callahan tells Billboard.com.
Recorded in just 10 days, this album marks the first time Callahan has worked out the material live before heading into the studio. "This is the first record that I listen to and can say, 'yeah, that's me,'" he states, referring to the often collaborative nature of his studio work.
Smog has been credited for fathering a very sparse type of song presentation: extremely lo-fi in production, stripped down instrumentation and an overall aesthetic of simplicity. Although his music may be on the hushed side, his witty, cynical lyrics draw most listeners in.
The new album "is about starting from scratch and sort of realizing that reconsidering things that may be dismissive at times," Callahan muses.
Although no dates have been confirmed, Smog will hit the road this summer, first starting in Europe around July and returning to the States in August. Whether or not Callahan will play alone or with a backing band has yet to be determined. "I have to be able to play the songs myself and they have to able to stand up like that," he says.