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Old Fire (feat. Bill Callahan), 'Don't You Go'

In a delicate elegy with cinematic scale, Old Fire succeeds in both evoking the desolation of frontman John Mark Lapham's West Texas homeland and punctuating a tragedy as old as human history. "Don't You Go," which features Bill Callahan, is a cover of a John Martyn song that laments a son who goes off to war, leading to universal misery.

Lapham employs cello, piano and synthesizer, adorning the melody with an atmospheric, careening wail, while finding anchor in the depths of Bill Callahan's half-spoken basso profondo. "The proud and the powerful / In whose hands we lie / Never will be pleasured / 'Til all our women cry," Callahan sings, as the song winds inexorably towards its fateful resolution, which is made plain in its video depicting a father being buried alive by his guilt.

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Joe Kendrick