Okay so they’re not really that old. I am behind the curve, but that is sort of the point of my occasional confessional “old things that are new to me.” So beyond being aware of their name for awhile, I think I am really only hearing Okkervil River for the first time recently. So when a remastered “deluxe” edition of their 2005 album Black Sheep Boy came across my desk the other day I decided to give them a go. Between the great artwork on the packaging and the opening title track I was hooked.
Sort of a mixture of summery indie pop and darker, Neil Young-inspired alt-country rock, this band, led by singer-songwriter Will Sheff is able to be infectiously melodic, emotionally visceral and yet still rock out with solid authority. Despite coming to them later than most, gotta say they’re pretty great.
Here is the video for the second track on the album, “For Real.” Its not my favourite song on the album by any means…in fact it sort of is the one radio-friendly, made for climatic titular scene at the end of a Greys Anatomy episode, but still not bad. I wish they had other songs I could more easily link to. Alas…