- 08 Sep 16
Get ready for the second coming of Okervil River
To quote the band’s head honcho Will Sheff, Away is “not really an Okkervil River album, but it’s also my favourite Okkervil River album.” Written during a time of transition, turbulence and break ups, the material found on their eighth record is performed by a new group of musicians, and features an even more expansive and orchestral sound which peppers the now traditional cathartic folk. Essentially a musical obituary to a part of his life which has expired, at its core Away is an LP about hitting the reset button and moving on.
The opening ‘Okkervil River R.I.P.’ features some of Sheff’s finest songwriting and is a dark reflection dressed up as a beautiful, acoustic guitar-based lullaby. “I was turning 38/ I was a horrible sight,” he confesses in his cracked croon at one stage. Though the rest of the record doesn’t quite match that huge opening number, there’s still plenty of meat for fans to sink their teeth into. ‘Frontman In Heaven’ is a careening slab of euphoric folk, the orchestral flourishes really lift ‘Call Yourself Renee’ to the stars and the trumpet-infused ‘Comes Indiana Through The Smoke’ is a touching tribute to Sheff’s grandfather and has a playful yet powerful vocal hook. Okkervil River is dead. Long live Okkervil River.