Album Review: Okkervil River – ‘I Am Very Far’

Porous to pop influence and mixing things up with their own strange markings

Will Sheff is a sponge rather than stone and sucks up the contemporary influence of [a]Arcade Fire[/a]’s [a]Tom Petty[/a] impersonation on ‘Rider’, but the first album in three years from widescreen Americana romantics Okkervil River comes into its own when he forces some particularly oblique and unique strategies into practice.

A shining highlight is ‘Piratess’, which sounds like Scott Walker fronting ‘This Is Hardcore’-era [a]Pulp[/a], complete with ‘solo’ played on the fast-forward and rewind buttons of a cassette player. Talking of the Walker Brother, his ‘unique’ techniques surely have an influence on the use of a flying filing cabinet crash as percussion on ‘White Shadow Waltz’.

John Doran


Stream the full album here

Order a copy of Okkervil River’s ‘I Am Very Far’ from Amazon