Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Wake And Be Fine” by Okkervil River from the 2011 album I Am Very Far on Jagjaguwar Records.
Folksy indie rock veterans Okkervil River are back in 2011 with I Am Very Far, their first album since 2008’s The Stand Ins and their sixth full-length release on Jagjaguwar. Since 2008, Okkervil front man Will Sheff has kept himself busy lending a hand to other artists like Norah Jones, the New Pornographers, and fellow Austin-ite Roky Erikson, for whom he produced the 2010 album True Love Cast Out All Evil. Sheff returned his focus to Okkervil River with more ambition than ever and a desire to “push [his] brain to places it didn’t want to go.” The result is I Am Very Far, which is due to hit shelves on May 10.
If “Wake And Be Fine” is any indication, I Am Very Far will be richly textured, meticulously crafted, and full of lush orchestration that will give it an inscrutable depth unlike anything we have seen from Okkervil River. For more on the album’s origins, what to expect, and a tracklisting, check out the album’s page on the Jagjaguwar website.
Okkervil River will be hitting the road in support of I Am Very Far on April 30, kicking off the tour in Dallas along with the Arcade Fire. They will be by Seattle on June 18 with Titus Andronicus, playing at the Neptune Theater. That’s right, the Neptune Theater. The now-defunct historic movie theater in the U-District is in the process of being converted into a performance hall and it will be ready to go by the time Okkervil River are through town in June. Click here for additional tour details. While we’re waiting, here’s the music video for “Wake And Be Fine,” directed by Daniel Gibbs: