Bill Callahan has exposed a lot of his soul, but ceaseless in his songwriting lives a perpetually roaming orientation. Each track here sounds as though he has momentarily halted a horseback journey to take in the view of a mountain range. YTILAER is reflective, but its greatest quality is in the rousing intimacy of each scene: the horse in Assateague image is just essential, bizarre writing. Knowing that those Mark Kozelek/Sam Elliott vocals are around the corner of each slow passage is one of the many gratifying joys of this record. Its purpose is beautifully vague—Bill finds us continually in a desert of distant hope and surrealism.
A favourite: ‘Everyway’
‘YTILAER’ is out now via Drag City Inc.