It may have taken Dennis Callaci over 25 years to record his debut solo album, but it’s not like he hasn’t been busy. Since 1990 Callaci has been the head honcho and visionary behind the influential California label Shrimper Records. The small label has been behind releases from the likes of Lou Barlow, Amps For Christ, The Mountain Goats, Dump, Woods, and many more acts who have gotten a foothold in the music industry because of it. In that time he has also managed to release a handful of albums with his own band Refrigerator and collaborate with numerous other musician friends. And throughout all those years Callaci has always been capturing his personal material and ideas on tapes, occasionally even releasing tunes under aliases like Paste and Puffy.
Given that his history shows he’s been far from idle over the years, it almost comes as a surprise that on September 9th Dennis Callaci is finally releasing his first official solo album A Bed of Light, on his own Shrimper Records no less! The album is a work of psych-folk with Callaci’s wavering vocals and poignant, oddball meditations on life permeating throughout each song. It’s a quiet collection of songs, yet it has a loud effect as you listen and try to sink deeper into Callaci’s strange musical universe. To pull together the album’s sparse yet textural instrumentation, Callaci teamed up with Jarvis Taveniere (member of Woods and producer of recent recordings by Woods, Sunflower Bean, Martin Courtney) on six of the nine tracks. Taveniere also plays drums, bass & some guitar on these tracks.
Today we are excited to premiere one of the standout tracks on A Bed of Light, “S.O.S.”, right here on Glide Magazine. The song is one of the most musically moving on the album with the eerily beautiful presence of an organ and pedal steel guitar. The twangy, haunting folk brings to mind the desert music of Giant Sand as Callaci ponders “How did this happen to you?/Can I keep it from happening to me?/How did this happen to you?/it’s easy as a 1-2-3”.
It’s hard to decipher exactly what the song is really about and Callaci isn’t one for details, but he does share some insight on the recording: “‘S.O.S’ was a song that Simon Joyner and I were going to record for the ‘New Secrets’ recorded by Jarvis at my house. Jarvis set up mics around the place the day prior to Simon and his band arriving and this is one of the songs that the two of us ran through with Jarvis on the drums. We didn’t have time to circle back to it then, but Meg, Simon and Lonnie added to the track post-script and we pulled in Mike Friedman to play some pedal steel. Can I now bore you with some bullshit about characters and song structure while I get my zebra contact lenses, lycra body suit and sternum reattached for the photo shoot? Ah, I loves you sweets.”
A Bed of Light is out September 9th on Shrimper Records. PRE-ORDER