“I do think that songs are little utopias for people to live in for three or four minutes.” Bill Callahan shared this sentiment during a 2022 interview with Uproxx to promote the release of his album YTI​⅃​A​Ǝ​Я, and it provides a good introduction to “Planets,” the second-to-last song on YTI​⅃​A​Ǝ​Я: Callahan begins the song byContinue reading “Planets”


With the release of the album YTI​⅃​A​Ǝ​Я in October 2022, Bill Callahan shared with Paste Magazine the sonic approach that he took for the recording: “I started becoming more interested in rock music again, so I started thinking more in terms of a band type of record…It seemed like, after the pandemic, I needed allContinue reading “Drainface”


In October 2022, Bill Callahan released YTI​⅃​A​Ǝ​Я, his third album of original compositions in three years, extending his run of putting out excellent new music after a substantial six-year gap between albums from 2013 to 2019. One of the many stand-out tracks on YTI​⅃​A​Ǝ​Я is “Coyotes”: The song begins with Callahan’s acoustic guitar establishing aContinue reading “Coyotes”


The third song on Bill Callahan’s 2020 album Gold Record is called “35”: The song starts with a simple guitar part from Callahan before Matt Kinsey joins in on a second acoustic guitar and provides a big bluesy fill. Callahan sings the first verse: I can’t see myself in the books I read these daysUsedContinue reading “35”


The image of the cowboy in the American West holds fascination and power. It’s a portable symbol that has been utilized for a variety of purposes, whether in entertainment, marketing, or politics. The cowboy myth was perpetuated in dime store novels and show business while the events associated with the Wild West were still happening.Continue reading “Cowboy”


At the age of 33, Bill Callahan — still releasing music under the name Smog — recorded “Permanent Smile” as the last song on the 2000 album Dongs of Sevotion: It’s a gorgeous song, propelled by loud, intermittent drums and a tinkling piano that is reminiscent of the irregular Philip Glass-y piano on “All MyContinue reading “747”

Son of the Sea

After 2013’s Dream River, Bill Callahan did not release an album of new original compositions for six years until Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest came out in 2019. During that time, Callahan and his wife had their first child, and it impacted Callahan’s mindset in many ways as he told The Creative Independent in 2019:Continue reading “Son of the Sea”

Summer Painter

In a 2019 interview, Bill Callahan was asked by The Creative Independent about the act of songwriting and if it had altered for Callahan since he first started: “I think for me that’s something that has never changed. When I’m in the flow of writing, I feel like I’m working on my first record allContinue reading “Summer Painter”


There is a line running through Bill Callahan’s songwriting that is similar in approach as nature writing, one that was previously referenced in an earlier Recliner Notes post. Another good example of Callahan working in this mode is the song “Spring” from his 2013 album Dream River: The song opens with a riff on electricContinue reading “Spring”

One Fine Morning

In a 2019 entry of Nick Cave’s indelible Red Hand Series in which he responds to questions from fans, Cave was asked about his favorite songs. He instead shared a list of what he called “hiding songs,” those songs that he felt were written exclusively for him. Cave further defined hiding songs by saying thatContinue reading “One Fine Morning”