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Okkervil River — In The Rainbow Rain (Apr 27, 2018)

Okkervil River — In The Rainbow Rain (Apr 27, 2018)

     Okkervil River — In The Rainbow Rain (Apr 27, 2018)  Okkervil River — In The Rainbow Rain (Apr 27, 2018)★    Scruffy indie folk act with a punkish hue, led by singer~songwriter Will Sheff.
Location: Austin, Texas, United States
Album release: September 3, 2013
Recording Location: Carousel; Chamber of Commerce; Daylight Factory; Figure 8, Mission Sound, NY; Magic Hour and Acme Hall Studios; Ring the Alarm; Sabella Studios; Seaside Lounge
Record Label: ATO Records
Duration:     49:06
01. Famous Tracheotomies     4:55
02. The Dream And The Light     6:49
03. Love Somebody     4:14
04. Family Song     5:10
05. Pulled Up The Ribbon     4:11
06. Don’t Move Back To L.A.     4:39
07. Shelter Song     5:00
08. How It Is     3:34
09. External Actor     4:08
10. Human Being Song     6:10
℗ 2018 Okkervil River under exclusive license to ATO Records, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Written by:
★    Ray Davies / Will Sheff     1
★    Will Sheff     2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10
★    Benjamin Lazar Davis / Will Graefe / Will Sheff     3
★    Will Graefe / Will Sheff     7
★    Brittany Anjou Glockenspiel, Vibraphone
★    Simone Appleby Vocals (Background)
★    Rich Bennett Engineer
★    William Bigwood Engineer
★    Charles Burst Engineer
★    Ray Davies Composer
★    Benjamin Lazar Davis ARP Synthesizer, Bass, Composer, Drum Programming, Moog Synthesizer, Piano, Vocals
★    Shawn Everett Mixing
★    Leslie Gardner Vocals (Background)
★    Will Graefe Composer, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Vocals
★    Jeremy Gustin Congas, Finger Cymbals, Percussion
★    Cole Kamen~Green Trumpet, Vocals
★    Chris Kyle Guitar (Electric)
★    Frank LoCrasto ARP Synthesizer, Fender Rhodes, Piano (Grand), Tack Piano, Wurlitzer
★    Bob Ludwig Mastering
★    Joe McGinty Synthesizer Programming
★    Jonathan Meiburg Vocals
★    Jeremy Miranda Cover Painting
★    Rob Moose String Arrangements, Viola, Violin
★    Daniel Murphy Design
★    Matt Murphy Engineer
★    Clinton Newman Guitar (Electric)
★    Sam Owens Engineer
★    Phil Palazzolo Engineer, Piano
★    Sarah Pedinotti ARP Synthesizer, Mellotron, Moog Synthesizer, Oberheim Synthesizer, Organ (Hammond), Piano, Roland Synthesizer, Vocals, Wurlitzer
★    Patrick Pestorius Vocals
★    Jon Salter A&R
★    Jared Samuel Organ (Hammond), Piano
★    Will Sheff Composer, Drum Programming, Engineer, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Mellotron, Piano, Piano (Upright), Producer, Roland Synthesizer, Vocals, Wurlitzer
★    Alec Spiegelman Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Vocals
★    Oliver Straus Engineer
★    Cully Symington Drums, Percussion, Shaker
★    A Snaggletooth Tiger Horn Arrangements
★    Ivan Wayman Engineer, Mixing Assistant
★    Saundra Williams Vocals (Background)
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger;  Score: ***
•★ζ√       2016’s Away saw Will Sheff parsing through the emotional debris left behind in the wake of a string of personal and professional hardships. It was loose, dreamy, and melancholic, but spilling over with the kind of summery, late afternoon warmth that made 2007’s bleary~eyed Stage Names and 2013’s nostalgia~heavy Silver Gymnasium so emotionally accessible. In the Rainbow Rain, the band’s ninth long~player, is a buoyant, stylistically diverse collection of songs that signal a tonal shift away from the bucolic folk and fervent indie Americana of the past. Working with producer Shawn Everett (the War on Drugs, Alabama Shakes), Sheff has crafted his least~Okkervil River~sounding Okkervil River outing to date, employing a colorful palette of sonic hues that flirt with everything from soft rock and soul to left~field ‘80s synth pop and Beatlesque classic rock. Ever the erudite crooner, Sheff packs a lot of words into his songs, but where previous outings relied on fairly straightforward narrative structures, the majority of the ten~track set suggests a far more impressionistic muse. Aptly named opener “Famous Tracheotomies” is an outlier, with Sheff delivering an autobiographical tale of childhood illness framed with ancillary stories of celebrities including Gary Coleman, Mary Wells, Dylan Thomas, and Ray Davies, who have undergone the same procedure — the song effortlessly incorporates the main melody from the Davies~penned Kinks classic “Waterloo Sunset” into its later half. Ardently optimistic and bristling with positive affirmations, gratitude looms large over the proceedings, with tracks like the breezy “Family Song” and “Shelter Song,” and the downright mystical closer “Human Being Song,” veering into self~help territory. That Sheff would dig his heels in and plant a flag of unity in the partisan divide that partly helped shape the album should come as no surprise, and as for the last decade or so, he’s been one of indie rock’s most compelling critical thinkers, but it takes a bit to become accustomed to this new, almost spiritual guise. Still, there’s plenty of meat to sink your teeth into, with highlights arriving via the wildly anthemic “The Dream and the Light,” the similarly grandiose “Pulled Up the Ribbon,” and the aforementioned opener, but In the Rainbow Rain is a definite departure that trades the soft hedonism of the group’s earlier works for something deeper and more profound.
♦      Will Sheff — Vocals, Guitar
♦      Lauren Gurgiolo — Electric Guitar, Mandolin
♦      Justin Sherburn — Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar
♦      Cully Symington — Drums
♦      Patrick Pestorius — Bass, Vocals
♦      Michael St. Clair — Trumpet, Trombone, Violin, Keyboards,

♦      Brian Cassidy — (non~touring member)
•★•       Okkervil River’s gorgeous new album ‘In The Rainbow Rain’ is out next Friday, April 27th on ATO Records, but fans can stream it early today via NPR First Listen, who called the album “warm, bright...limber and expansive.”

•★•       Okkervil River will celebrate the release of ‘In The Rainbow Rain’ with two special NYC~area events. This Saturday, April 21st, Okkervil River’s Will Sheff will be joined by AC Newman of The New Pornographers at the Strand Rare Book Room, where the two artists will discuss the making of the record. Will will also perform selections from the album solo and acoustic, and fans will have the opportunity to purchase the album early. Find details on the event, presented by The Talkhouse.
•★•       On album release day, Friday, April 27th, Okkervil River will play a sold~out show at Brooklyn’s Rough Trade. It’s an intimate venue for the band, who will return to NYC to play bigger rooms later this year.
•★•       Earlier this week, Okkervil River released album opener “Famous Tracheotomies,” a sweeping epic about the emergency tracheotomy Will Sheff underwent as a child and the tracheotomies of other famous figures including Gary Coleman, Dylan Thomas and Ray Davies. Listen to that song and read an interview with Billboard about the story behind it.
•★•       Taking their name from a short story by Russian author Tatyana Tolstaya, Okkervil River are a Lone Star State~based indie rock outfit led by erudite tunesmith Will Sheff, who has remained the sole constant member throughout the band’s tenure. Employing a wide range of styles that veer from vivid Americana and pastoral folk to rowdy indie rock, the band became a regional fixture before finding national success in the mid~2000s.
•★•       Vocalist Will Robinson Sheff and drummer Seth Warren first rubbed shoulders as high~school students in Meriden, New Hampshire, a town they eventually left to attend different colleges. The two reconvened several years later in Austin, where they put together Okkervil River with the help of bassist Zachary Thomas. The group recorded several EPs as a trio, including 2000’s Stars Too Small to Use, before crossing paths with multi~instrumentalist Jonathan Meiburg at a local bar. Meiburg soon joined the band, and Okkervil River made their first big splash at the SXSW festival in March 2000.
•★•       Producer Brian Beattie caught the band’s SXSW showcase and agreed to helm Okkervil River’s debut album, Don’t Fall in Love with Everyone You See. Warren relocated to California during the recording sessions and was replaced by drummer Mark Pedini; meanwhile, the band inked a record contract with Jagjaguwar, which released the completed Don’t Fall in Love in January 2002. A second release, Down the River of Golden Dreams, followed one year later. Pedini had left the band by early 2003, however, thus leaving his former bandmates without a drummer as they prepared to return to SXSW. Travis Nelson climbed aboard as a temporary replacement and soon joined the permanent lineup, as did lap steel guitarist Howard Draper.
•★•       Already renowned in Texas, Okkervil River rose to national prominence with the release of 2005’s Black Sheep Boy, followed several months later by the Black Sheep Boy Appendix EP. Both albums featured a wide crop of musicians, and the band’s lineup continued to change as Scott Brackett joined on keyboards and Pat Pestorius replaced Zach Thomas on bass. Okkervil River’s profile was likewise expanding, as Virgin Records reissued both Black Sheep Boy discs in Europe. Despite the international buzz, several bandmates found themselves torn between Okkervil River and Shearwater, a group originally founded in 2001 as a side project for Meiburg and Sheff. As the side project evolved into a full~fledged band, Meiburg quit Okkervil River to devote his full attention to Shearwater. Brian Cassidy was then hired, and the new lineup unveiled itself with 2007’s Stage Names.
•★•       Stage Names climbed to number 62 on the Billboard charts, Okkervil River’s highest peak to date. Three months after its release, pianist Justin Sherburn joined the band. Lineup changes continued into 2008, as Cassidy left and was replaced by the Wrens’ Charlie Bissell, who toured throughout the summer before giving up his spot to guitarist Lauren Gurgiolo. With their newest lineup intact, Okkervil River returned that fall with the band’s fifth album, The Stand Ins. TV performances and various tour dates followed, as did the opportunity to serve as Roky Erickson’s backing band on True Love Cast Out All Evil. Okkervil River frontman Sheff produced the critically acclaimed album, a role he reprised on his own band’s 2011 release, I Am Very Far. Sheff went Back to the Future on 2013’s Silver Gymnasium, an 11~track ode to his hometown of Meridian, New Hampshire. The next few years saw Sheff endure a number of hardships, both personal and professional. By 2016, he had rebuilt both himself and the band from the ground up, culminating in the release of the deeply personal Away. Two years later Sheff and company returned with In the Rainbow Rain, a vivid, buoyant, and stylistically diverse collection of songs that signaled a tonal shift away from the bucolic folk of their previous outing. ~ Andrew Leahey
♦  2002 Don’t Fall in Love with Everyone You See — (Jagjaguwar)
♦  2003 Down the River of Golden Dreams — (Jagjaguwar)
♦  2005 Black Sheep Boy — (Jagjaguwar)
♦  2007 The Stage Names — (Jagjaguwar) No. 62 US
♦  2008 The Stand Ins — (Jagjaguwar) No. 42 US, No. 57 SWE
♦  2011 I Am Very Far — (Jagjaguwar) No. 32 US, No. 66 UK
♦  2013 The Silver Gymnasium (ATO Records)
♦  2018 In The Rainbow Rain (ATO Records)
Split albums:
♦  2003 Julie Doiron / Okkervil River — Acuarela, split with Julie Doiron
♦  2004 Sham Wedding/Hoax Funeral — Jound, split with Shearwater
♦  1998 Bedroom EP — Jound
♦  1999 Stars Too Small to Use — Jound
♦  2004 Sleep and Wake~Up Songs — (Jagjaguwar)
♦  2005 Black Sheep Boy Appendix — (Jagjaguwar)
♦  2006 Overboard & Down — Inertia, Australia~only tour EP
♦  2007 Black Sheep Boy (Definitive Edition) — Double album of Black Sheep Boy and Black Sheep Boy Appendix (Europe and US, Jagjaguwar)
♦  2007 Golden Opportunities Mixtape — A collection of eight covers and one original song released on the band’s website
♦  2010 True Love Cast Out All Evil backing Roky Erickson (ANTI–)
♦  2011 Golden Opportunities 2 — EP with four covers and one traditional song, released via the band’s website
Producer: John Agnello
Website: http://okkervilriver.com/
Bandcamp: https://okkervilriver.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-rainbow-rain
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/okkervilriver
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/okkervilriver

Okkervil River — In The Rainbow Rain (Apr 27, 2018)


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