Okkervil River: I Am Very Far (Jagjaguar) 

Will Sheff is operating on a higher plane these days. On Okkervil River's stunning I Am Very Far, Sheff revels in ambiguous and evocative imagery that keeps pace with inspired studio wizardry. In fact, Sheff's recent foray into production—best evidenced on last year's Roky Erickson album—suggests he is adept at crafting oddly fragile, symphonic pop songs.

The opening charge of "The Valley"—with a jangle of sleigh bells interrupted by gunshot snare hits and Sheff's savage outlook ("A slit throat makes a note like a raw winter wind") disrupting everything—sets a precedent.

These are fine tunes on their own, but explore a track like the seductive "Piratess," and you discover its vamping bass groove gives way to torn paper and duct tape, or its cassette solo (yes, as in played on a boombox) is matched by trill guitar pitches.

The swinging "Wake and Be Fine," with its start-stop rhythms and soaring interludes, is the proud accomplishment of a small army of players, as is the lush, glorious "We Need a Myth." On the opposite end, the charming, pastoral whimsy of "Lay of the Last Survivor" and the pristine calm of "Hanging From a Hit" accomplish much through slow burns and subtlety.

Okkervil River has crafted a rare album whose richness never detracts from its enjoyment.

More by Michael Petitti


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Tuesday, Dec. 18

New Year's Party Preview

Three Great Things to Do in Tucson Today: Monday, Dec. 17

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Know Your Product

    Stars Pick Their Top Five! This Week: Sleepspent
    • Nov 29, 2018
  • Nightcrawler

    Late night shows to keep you entertained this week
    • Nov 29, 2018
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2018 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation