Bill MacKay – “Pre-California”

Chicago composer Bill MacKay has announced a new album, Fountain Fire, that will be out in March. It’s his first solo work since 2017’s Esker, though the guitarist teamed up with Ryley Walker soon after that on their second collaborative album, SpiderBeetleBee.

Today, he’s shared the opening track from it, “Pre-California,” and based on its hazy exuberance it’s clear he’s got the primordial West on his mind. The song comes attached to an animated video directed by Timothy Breen, which sheds some light on the video (and seemingly the song)’s origins:

Pre-California is a brief meditation on transitioning states. Lines are introduced as a catalyst for biological action and movement is improvised through a telescoping of perspectives. In the window we see california before California, before Califerne or Calida Fornax, the hot furnace in which matter and thought are free to unravel. The wiggly world in about 1200 drawings’

Listen and watch below.

01 “Pre-California”
02 “Birds Of May”
03 “The Movie House”
04 “Man & His Panic”
05 “Welcome”
06 “Try It On”
07 “Arcadia”
08 “Dragon Country”

Fountain Fire is out 3/22 via Drag City. Pre-order it here.