Bill Callahan, the veteran indie singer-songwriter who used to record under the name Smog, is about to release his first album since 2013’s Dream River. The upcoming Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest, which comes out next Friday, is a massive 20-song undertaking. And instead of the usual advance singles, he’s been sharing it with us in big multi-song chunks.
First we heard Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest – Side 1, which compiled the first six tracks on the album together. A week later, we got five more new songs in Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest – Side 2. And now — you guessed it — Callahan has shared the third side of the album.
Side 3 is another five new songs, which means we’ve now gotten 80% of Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest already. Callahan’s songs are complex things that take some time to unfold, but on first blush, “Confederate Jasmine,” “Call Me Anything,” “Son Of The Sea,” “Camels,” and “Circles” are all lovely, augmenting his folky, lightly jazzy instrumentation with electric keys, kalimba, harmonica, bowed psaltery, and percussion. Listen below.
Shepherd In A Sheepskin Vest is out 6/14 on Drag City. Pre-order it here.