“Stay Young”- Okkervil River

Okkervil River’s newest album, The Silver Gymnasium is all about the past. The trotting piano of “It Was My Season” allowed frontman Will Sheff the chance to sift through the rubble of youth in attempt to fit the pieces back together, to no avail. The motoring synth of “Down Down the Deep River” drove Sheff closer to the heart, to shivering lake dives and late-night car rides. For their newest trip down memory lane, the band has issued “Stay Young”, the most musically nostalgic cut yet. An 80s-indebted synthesizer enters the scene while Sheff mutters “it’s all gone” and cries of long lonely times. Slipping further back, a squawking saxophone takes the stage only to be upended by a harmonica. The focus is firmly on Sheff though, warning “the world goes to it’s work and it is not gentle, it what it breaks you down into.” Having undergone the process himself, Sheff longs for a time when the weight of the world was a lot lighter.

Listen to the song here and look for the LP to drop September 3 via ATO Records.

“Down Down the Deep River”- Okkervil River

As previously mentioned the hyper-literate Austin-based Okkervil River are prepping their next album, The Silver Gymnasium for release on September 3. As described by the band to NPR, the concept album will ‚Äútell the childhood tale of its lead singer and songwriter Will Sheff, a self-described awkward, nearsighted, asthmatic kid growing up the small town of Meriden, New Hampshire.” The first cut off the record, “It Was My Season” was a piano-indebted affair haunted by the spirit of the past, when Atari’s held sway and the days rushed by in one giant blur. New track “Down Down the Deep River” motors along with similar sense of purpose, this time aided by a synth, and attempts to chase all the meandering lines of life back to their starting points. Here Sheff recalls rising up from lakes “shivering cold” and long car-ride homes fueled by fatherly advice. “It’s not all right, it’s not even close to alright,” Sheff sings with a tremble in the chorus. For all the forward momentum of youth, there’s always a setback littering the path.


Listen to the new cut here and again look for the new record on September 3.

“It Was My Season”- Okkervil River

The hyper-literate Austin, Texas band Okkervil River are prepping their new LP The Silver Gymnasium for release on September 3, as a follow-up to 2011’s I Am Very Far. Returning to the concept-album successes of Black Sheep Boy and The Stage Names, frontman Will Sheff writes on Twitter: “the new record takes place in 1986 in a small town in New Hampshire.” A trotting piano-figure embodies that small-town feeling and summons up the spirit of the past. Sheff is haunted by that spirit, recalling a time when “my mind was just revving.” The sort of time when even the smallest pain felt like a mortal wound no heart could overcome. “I won’t say I’m sorry, and how would they know? Below the Atari, well I could feel your heart was just going,” Sheff sings. For some in the midst of a great ride all that starts to matter is when will it end? As a crescendo builds with the piano and drums, Sheff accepts “that was our season,” feebly attempting to salvage what is now rubble. By the end, Sheff looks back on the fog of the past and chalks it up to being “mixed up,” but still remembers “that head filled with doubt.” Sometimes, there’s just no making sense of a time when logic was the last thing on anyone’s mind.

Listen to the new track here and look for Okkervil River in the Fall in the following cities:

August 24th – Monterey, CA – First City Festival

September 7th – Boston, MA – Boston Calling Festival

September 19th – Mobile, AL – Alabama Music Box

September 21st – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse

September 23rd – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club

September 26th – New York, NY – Terminal 5

September 27th – Ithaca, NY- The Haunt

September 28th – Toronto, ON – Phoenix Concert Theatre

September 29th – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom

October 1st – Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge

October 2nd – Little Rock, AR – Revolution

October 4th – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits

October 11th – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits

October 18th – El Paso, TX – Tricky Falls

October 19th – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom

October 20th – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern

October 24th – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom

October 25th – Seattle, WA – The Showbox

October 26h – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theatre

November 1st – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue

November 2nd – Chicago, IL – Metro