Listen: Okkervil River on WNYC's SoundcheckSeptember 12, 2013
Okkervil River: Romanticizing A Small Town Past
Watch the indie rock band perform songs from its new record ‘The Silver Gymnasium.’
Monday, September 16, 2013
Many songwriters reflect upon and romanticize times and places from their past, and often cannot let go. For Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, the time is 1986, and the place is Meriden, N.H., a small town where he spent his childhood. And while he and his band have gone on to live elsewhere — Austin, Texas or Brooklyn — not to mention tour all over, Sheff has apparently kept Meriden close to his heart.
With Okkervil River’s seventh album, The Silver Gymnasium, Sheff mines his experiences and cultural references of that time — not only in autobiographical details about the setting, but in the musical sounds of the era. The record sets Sheff’s distinctive quavering voice with elements of ’80s rock he grew up on. The result is yet another ambitious high-concept Okkervil River album that allows us a glimpse into the songwriter’s life.