Bill Callahan: Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle

Bill Callahan (aka Smog) sounds like a distinguished graduate from the Nick Drake School of acoustic bliss with a double first in Philosophy and Music. In actual fact he’s a singer/songwriter from Silver Spring, Maryland with beginnings more in low-fi instrumentals.

“Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle” is his second album under his own name and has lyrics that explore love, responsibility and most eloquently, faith, or rather the lack of it.

“Eid Ma Clack Shaw” is certainly the only song I can think of about a horse written in the first person, or should that be first horse? It also manages to feature Eleanor Rigby’s Cello.

“The Wind and the Dove” is a gentle acoustic ballad encased at either end by ancient Arabic sound-bytes that prepared me for lyrics about magic carpets, genies and Persian Princes that failed to materialise.

The album closes with its best track, “Faith/Void” almost 10 minutes of delightful mesmeric acoustic harmonies and the frequently repeating line: “It’s time, to put God away”.

Highly recommended.