Invoice Callahan – YTI⅃AƎЯ | UNCUT


More and more daring in saying his cosmic quiet bits out loud, Invoice Callahan drifts into reverie on the woozy “Planets” – one of many many spaced-out songs on his new LP – after having stared “on the sky so lengthy I forgot how you can speak”. As trumpeter Derek Phelps and common guitarist Matt Kinsey whip up a suitably galactic storm, the one-time Smog man hears the spheres singing one thing “vaguely Hawaiian”. “Kilakila Malu”, they refrain. “Kilakila Malu”.

The one-time deadpan king of dysfunction is continuous to comply with a barely yoga-pants-and-Birkenstocks path on his twentieth studio LP. Having established himself as a profession outsider with 1997’s prowler’s constitution “Ex-Con”, the lo-fi Marylander has long-since stretched out from scratchy songs of desperation into extra expansive terrain, 2003’s Supper and 2009’s Generally I Want We Had been An Eagle together with a number of the period’s most acute songs of affection.

Nonetheless, if their in depth leafings from his dream diary had some precedent in his earlier work, the themes of marriage and fatherhood that dominated 2019’s Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest and 2020’s Gold Report felt like a betrayal for many who appreciated Callahan extra when he may sing “why’s all people taking a look at me like there’s one thing essentially fallacious?” (as he did on “Palimpsest”, from 2005’s A River Ain’t Too A lot To Love) and imply it.

If the brand new mannequin Callahan continues to come back out with barely grandiose, Buddha-like statements (“we should bow our heads to get out and in of what we’re residing in”, the 56-year-old nods sagely on “The Horse”), YTI⅃AƎЯ is a extra troubled, and troubling work than its predecessors. Peppered with floaty jazz sections, and surprising backing vocals (together with contributions from Callahan’s son, Bass), its acknowledged intention was to re-engage with a post-pandemic, post-Donald Trump world, although Callahan’s imaginative and prescient of life on the opposite facet of the tradition wars is an idiosyncratic one. His mantra amid the Loopy Horse-play of opener “First Chicken” is “as we’re popping out of goals, and we’re coming again to goals”. His message: the inside world is extra significant and interesting than the manufactured outrages of the skin one.

Seemingly channelling Carl Gustav Jung, Callahan warms to his activity on Caravan-fandango “Pure Data”, singing about dipping into some nicely of common reality throughout a pushchair ramble along with his child daughter. Accessing these additional ranges of consciousness is simple, he suggests, if you know the way. He then boasts absent-mindedly of his speed-dial relationship along with his inventive self (and his style in leisure footwear) as he provides: “I wrote this track in 5, in restoration slides”.

The luminous “Coyotes” covers much less nicely peer-reviewed terrain, Callahan drifting off right into a meditation on reincarnation, and lovers reconnecting from lifetime to lifetime, after watching a sleeping household canine. “We have a tendency to stay collectively down by the generations”, he sings in lethal earnest. “Holding arms by many lives”.

If this esoteric information is reassuring, YTI⅃AƎЯ is just not a brand new age pamphlet set to music. Anger and unhappiness course by it too. Hear carefully, and line-dance-friendly nearer “Final One At The Get together” reveals itself as Callahan’s in memoriam to Silver Jews kingpin David Berman. “Drainface” glowers, “Partition” snarls, whereas “Bare Souls” faucets into the cacophony of sad humanity – the incels, keyboard warriors and would-be cops and spree killers – and seemingly suggests a cull.

Callahan wrote, gently, touchingly, about his mom’s passing on Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest, however returns to her deathbed on “Lily”. The wheel of her stretcher squeaks as her physique is taken away. There are unresolved points, then a séance. “The medium mentioned you had been sticking round midway to verify my boy was OK”, says Callahan. Going by the darkish noise behind him, this message from backstage is extra unsettling than reassuring.

YTI⅃AƎЯ picks on the material of the universe and if it doesn’t all the time discover the solutions it needs, the expansive musical backdrop underlines its barely ecstatic, questing spirit: right here Mark E Smith, there Marquee Moon. As he continues to jot down his inside workings, Callahan might veer too near psychobabble for some, however his writing stays subtly mined with pomposity-busting gags, even when his reality is more and more on the market.

Again on “Planets”, Callahan sees the solar clock off for the day and is overwhelmed by the essentially benign nature of the cosmos. For a second the astral plainsman feels refreshed; “renewed”, as he places it “for a second season”. Google Translate says “Kilakila Malu” means “shadow place” in Hawaiian. Go deeper when you dare.

Supply hyperlink