The Abilene, Texas composer and producer John Mark Lapham records under the name Old Fire, and he’s recruited an eye-popping list of vocalists for his new album Voids. In addition to appearances from Julia Holter, Adam Torres, and Emily Cross (Cross Record, Loma), the album features living legend Bill Callahan on three songs. One of them, a haunting cover of John Martyn’s “Don’t You Go,” is out today. It also features piano by Thomas Bartlett, aka Doveman. If you’ve ever wondered what Bill Callahan singing a Radiohead dirge might sound like, it would probably sound a lot like this.
A statement from Lapham:
I originally created some ideas for this cover with a composer friend of mine and it laid around without a vocalist for years. The song really resonated with me so I took my ideas for it and asked Thomas Bartlett to be involved, who in turn recorded a beautiful piano part for it. Bill was the last piece of the puzzle. I set out to find a vocalist who was a little older, someone who could add to the southern gothic feel of the album. I was introduced to him by our mutual friend, Thor Harris, and it evolved from there. Lyrically the themes of loss and mourning of this track fit well into the overall narrative of the album. With the video, I wanted to express those concepts, and portray them as the father being buried alive by his memories and his hurt. As with other elements of Old Fire, the setting had to be West Texas, as there is so much desolation and decay in this area.
Watch the Lapham-directed video for “Don’t You Go” below.
01 “All Gone (Prelude)”
02 “Blue Star (Feat. Emily Cross)
03 “When I Was In My Prime (Feat. Bill Callahan)
04 “Corpus” (Feat. Bill Callahan)
05 “Love Is Only Dreaming”
06 “Dreamless” (Feat. Adam Torres)
07 “Don’t You Go” (Feat. Bill Callahan)
08 “Window Without A World” (Feat. Julia Holter)
09 “Void I: Uninvited”
10 “Void II: Memory”
11 “Void III: Father As A Child”
12 “Void IV: Circles”
Voids is out 11/4 on Western Vinyl.