How can you not love this song? I’ve loved it for almost six years. I was introduced to it by Ian of (the now-defunct, I guess) Popsheep, who said to me, in an email, something close to the following: “Rock Bottom Riser is like a nice daydream version of what my nightmares of drowning in the Columbia River were like.”
There has always been a part of me that wondered whether Bill Callahan was making a slight reference to Tolkien and Gollum with that line, “I saw a gold ring/at the bottom of the river/glinting/at my foolish heart/oh my foolish heart/had to go diving/diving, diving, diving/into the murk.” But it seems like it’s just a coincidence. This song is both more and less heartbreaking than Gollum’s terrible family history.