Sometimes I Wish I Were An Eagle
(04.2009, Drag City)
Verdict: You would never imagine how addictive it can be.
I have never really listened to Smog, even though friends had highly recommended it. The most I had ever previously listened to Bill Callahan was his meager guest spot on Joanna Newsom's Ys. Then Sometimes I Wish I Were An Eagle came out with wonderful reviews and I decided to give it a try. On first listen it was pleasant- minimal instrumentation, including french horn, piano and swelling violins underneath calm guitar melodies and steady drum beats. I liked it. That was about it though, like, but something kept bringing me back to it. It just seemed to always fit the mood I was in, so I'd put it on in the background only to catch little glimpses of genius, a wonderful lyric or a sweet little melody would make me think, "hm, I want to listen to that again." So I would. Then I would catch something else that would make me think "hm, I want to listen to that again." And so on and so forth. I have since listened to Sometimes I Wish I Were An Eagle steadily on repeat since that first listen. It is a definite staple of 2009. Callahan's unique and mellow lyrics and delivery make for a relaxing (but not sleep inducing, unless you are two months old) album full of little quirks and gorgeous songwriting.
Bill Callahan on Myspace