The Austin, Texas based balladeer Bill Callahan takes a look at America, and probably himself a bit, in his latest album Apocalypse. But the outcome isn’t as bleak as the title suggests. Callahan told WNYC in an interview for the record’s release back in April that while the seven tracks do tell a story of total annihilation, that’s just the first half of the tale.
“Anything new is a destruction of an old thing,” mused Callahan. “That first side is sort of filled with searching songs and reflecting songs. The last song on side one, there’s a guy in a boat in the middle of the lake and he sets off a flare and it lights up the world -- in a not a very subtle metaphor for seeing things clearly. And then after that, the rest of the album, side two, is more in the lightness of that illuminated-ness of the flare going off.”
So it’s not all glum, although the track “Riding For The Feeling,” that we have available for free download is a rather steady, somber number. Watch the video below for its visual counterpoint or scroll down to the next video for a healthy dose of “America!,” Callahan’s blood-pumpin’ to boot stompin’ track. And no, we’re not really sure why Callahan’s label Drag City decided to release the video on the fourth episode of the obscure puppet-hosted, back porch-set of “Friday Night Somewhere.” No clue. The video starts at the 7:30 minute mark if you'd like to zip past the puppetry.