Away by Okkervil River
Will Sheff, the driver (and lead singer) behind Okkervil River, is sad. Or, at least I think he is. The band’s eighth album, Away, is dripping is depression. This is not foreign territory for the band. Black Sheep Boy, their 2005 album, leaves you with the feeling you’ve been sitting under a dark thundercloud for 45 minutes.
But this can be a good thing — I love hearing an album that makes me feel things, as Away does. It’s ok that those feelings are mostly ones of concern for Sheff’s well-being, but I find that’s often the case with musicians who really put their all into their music.
Take the video above, for instance. It’s for a song called “Okkervil River R.I.P.” Sheff’s lyrics tend to be obtuse, so it’s impossible to know for sure what the song means, but it’s easy to draw some conclusions from that title. Will this be the last Okkervil River album? It could be that this song, which happens to also be the first song on the album, is about the fact that the only common part of the band from previous Okkervil River albums is Sheff himself. Every other performer on the album is new.
But Sheff’s voice is still his voice, and if you’ve liked previous OR albums, I recommend giving this one a listen.