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Old fire voids 2022 promo photo

Old Fire announces collaborative album Voids featuring Bill Callahan, Julia Holter and more

08 August 2022, 15:17 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

Old Fire, the project of John Mark Lapham, has announced a new collaborative album titled Voids, and has teamed up with Bill Callahan on the lead single, which is a cover of John Martyn’s “Don’t You Go”.

"Don’t You Go" is a cover of John Martyn’s 1981 song, and features Bill Callahan, as well as piano from Thomas Bartlett, cello from Semay Wu and keys/guitars from Robin Allender.

"I originally created some ideas for this cover with a composer friend of mine and it laid around without a vocalist for years," John Mark Lapham explains. "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."

As well as featuring appearances from Bill Callahan, Voids includes contributions from Julia Holter, Emily Cross and Adam Torres. The album was created over five years, and as well as featuring guest vocalists, the other part of the album is fully instrumental.

"I was feeling the brunt of a relationship ending, and the emptiness it left behind," Lapham says. "Over the course of compiling the album, I lost both my parents, and the pandemic started. These recordings were born out of that loss, and that isolation. The title Voids was a natural fit."

He adds of the collaborations, "I usually send a collaborator a piece of music with some general ideas of what I'm looking for, and let them develop it as they see fit. I give them some preliminary lyrics I've written, or at least some themes of what the song is about, then they write lyrics and ideas based around that. Sometimes there is a lot of back and forth before we get it right, and almost always there are unexpected turns in the process where it ends up being something very different from what we started with. I bring it all together, but the album exists because of their contributions."

Tracklist:

  1. All Gone prelude
  2. Blue Star (Feat. Emily Cross)
  3. When I Was In My Prime (Feat. Bill Callahan)
  4. Corpus (Feat. Bill Callahan)
  5. Love is Only Dreaming
  6. Dreamless (Feat. Adam Torres)
  7. Don’t You Go (Feat. Bill Callahan)
  8. Window Without a World (Feat. Julia Holter)
  9. Void I: Uninvited
  10. Void II: Memory
  11. Void III: Father as a Child
  12. Void IV: Circles
"Don't You Go" featuring Bill Callahan is out now. Old Fire's Voids album will arrive on 4 November through Western Vinyl, and is available to pre-order now.
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