Listen to Old Fire and Bill Callahan’s New Song “Mephisto”

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Listen to Old Fire and Bill Callahan’s New Song “Mephisto”

A new collaboration from Texas musician John Mark Lapham’s forthcoming Iterations EP

Thor Harris John Mark Lapham and Bill Callahan

Thor Harris, John Mark Lapham, and Bill Callahan, photo by Deborah Cannon

Bill Callahan has joined Old Fire for the new song “Mephisto.” It’s the third offering from Old Fire’s forthcoming Iterations EP, following “Blue Strings” and “Void Part VI: It’s Not What You Remember, It’s What You Can’t Forget.” Listen to the new song below.

Old Fire is the recording project of Abilene, Texas, composer and producer John Mark Lapham. Last year, the project released its full-length debut, Voids, which featured Bill Callahan on three songs, including “Corpus,” which Lapham reworked for the new “Mephisto.”

Iterations is out November 3 via Western Vinyl. Along with Callahan, the EP has contributions from Emily Cross, Joseph Shabason, Thor Harris, and others. “Mephisto” features Christian Madden on the Fender Rhodes electric piano, Robin Allender on bass and processed guitar, and percussion from Robb Kidd.

In a press statement, Lapham said:

With the way I record for Old Fire, I get so much material recorded with the various contributors that it’s oftentimes hard to switch off the construction process. I get really immersed in these recordings and keep going until there’s nothing left to work on, and no further directions where these songs can go. As for the alternate versions on this mini album, “Blue Strings” and “Mephisto,” I got inspiration while working on the original versions, and knew th ere was a different way of presenting them. Especially in the case of “Blue Strings” and its sister track, “Blue Star,” I really wanted to strip away all the drums and other dynamics and put it into this other, softer, ethereal space. I don’t see this as a remix, it’s just a different chapter for that particular story. Same for Bill’s track, “Mephisto,” that was sourced from “Corpus.” These songs felt like only half the story was told initially, so wanted to flesh out these other iterations , and see where they went. As for the other tracks on the album, these are branches stretching out of the suite that took up the second half of Voids. I kept building that suite and taking it to different places, but certainly didn’t want to present a triple album to the label, so opted to hold some back to keep it cohesive. I see these new parts as a continuation, and completion, of the story.

Revisit Pitchfork’s 2019 feature “Bill Callahan the Family Man.”

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