Listen to Joan Shelley & Bill Callahan duet on “Amberlit Morning”
Joan Shelley has shared "Amberlit Morning," her duet with Bill Callahan from her upcoming album, The Spur. Spare and gorgeous, it's a wonderful showcase for Shelley and Callahan's songwriting and simpatico voices.
Shelley says: “When I was a child, my father the painter would tell me the Picasso quote: 'Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.' He tried to teach me to hold on to that wonder and clear vision, but holding on proved impossible. As I wrote this song, I watched it take on this theme of beauty and impermanence. I imagined making it a duet that would feel like a conversation between two constellations. I wanted to be sung a mythical bedtime story, one that Bill Callahan might write. So I asked him to write and sing it with me."
Callahan adds, "Joan’s guitar riff instantly sucked me into the world of the song. A world that was ongoing and ending and going on again. She wanted a little help fleshing it out, or just having someone else’s perspective on what she was looking at. I threw in some lines that she called mythical. I tend to see in myths, in dreams. I may have added a chord change, possibly at her request — the beautiful thing about the song for me is that it’s kind of covered its tracks in the snow so now I can’t remember entirely what I added or changed. Maybe that guitar riff is someone covering their tracks in the snow. I can just appreciate the mystery of the thing as a whole. Joan claims the high voice at the end is mine, the high voice covering the tracks of the low. I don’t know if I believe her.”
You can watch the video for "Amberlit Morning," which was directed by Cyrus Moussavi & Brittany Nugent and shot in Red Hook, Brooklyn, below.
The Spur is out June 24 via No Quarter and also features contributions from James Elkington, who produced, as well as Meg Baird, Joan's husband Nathan Salsburg, Spencer Tweedy and more.