Friday, August 24, 2007

Okkervil River - The Stage Names

Okkervil River, from Austin, Texas, and led by singer/writer Will Sheff, just released their fifth album, The Stage Names, and it may be the best album I've heard all year. The album careens between genuinely driving rock and roll songs and indie ballads that border on prettiness. The lyrics are as dense and full of puns and tricks as early Elvis Costello. (Case in point: The song "Plus One," with lyrics like, "No one wants to hear about your 97th tear," and, "You would probably die before you shot up nine miles high..." You get the point.)
The music is complex and layered without ever sounding processed or artificial. The playing is self-assured and the arrangements are consistently surprising.
The album has totally passed the listen-all-the-way-to-work-without-switching-to-shuffle test. Here is the opening track from the album, kindly provided by Jagjaguwar.
Okkervil River - Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe

Find out more about Okkervil River here.
Order The Stage Names from Emusic.

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