It’s Monday Again; So Here’s Another Bill Callahan Track, “The Mackenzies” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Wednesday, October 21st, 2020  

It’s Monday Again; So Here’s Another Bill Callahan Track, “The Mackenzies”

Gold Record Due Out September 4 via Drag City

Jul 27, 2020
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Did you mark your calendars? It’s Monday again, which means here comes another Bill Callahan track. This time we’re delivered “The Mackenzies,” the fifth single from Callahan’s forthcoming LP, Gold Record, due out September 4 via Drag City. He’s sharing a different song from the album every Monday up until the release date. Watch the video for the song below. 

“The Mackenzies” drops Callahan in suburban land with a broken down car and no way out. He finds help from a neighbor family next door who lets him stay for dinner and spend the night. Once it’s bedtime, the gentle track turns from just a guitar and bass melody to a darker tune with a hint of synth and sparse drums as he looks at pictures of a previously deceased child. Callahan spends the rest of his time dreaming about fatherhood, “Son, it's okay,” he continues until the song fades out. 

Among “The Mackenzies” Callahan as previously shared tracks “Protest Song,” “35,” and “Pigeons,” which humorously opened with Callahan declaring “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.” Then he sang from the perspective of a limo driver who mainly works weddings, reflecting on marriage, as he looks back at the newlyweds in the back of the limo. “Pigeons” was one of our Songs of the Week. Then Callahan shared the album’s “Another Song,” which was a song about afternoon delight, meaning playing hooky from work to make love to your partner.

Gold Record is the follow-up to 2019’s Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest, released last June via Drag City. That was his first album in six years, since 2013’s Dream River, so Gold River represents a quick turnaround time for Callahan. Following Dream River Callahan got married and had a kid and after those big and happy life changes he had trouble tapping into his usual songwriting well. It seems like the songwriting is flowing more freely now. 

While prepping to go on a long tour for Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest and contemplating being away from his family for a long time, he pulled out some sketches from his notebooks and finished some of them. These are the images you see in each music video for Gold Record. The basics of Gold Record were recorded live with Matt Kinsey on guitar and Jaime Zurverza on bass.

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