Tag Archives: Okkervil River

Tim Hardin – Black Sheep Boy (1967)


Oregon-born James Timothy Hardin is probably best known for his hit single ‘If I Were a Carpenter’ that has been covered by the likes of Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Robert Plant, Small Faces and Bert Jansch. It featured on his sophomore album, Tim Hardin 2, for the short-lived Verve Forecast label. The album also contain a son that I admire even more… ‘Black Sheep Boy’ has been covered by Scott Walker and Okkervil River. The Black Sheep Boy died of of a heroin overdose in 1980.

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Car Seat Headrest – Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales (2016)


This year, Will Toledo has got my attention. He is one of those singer-songwriter that operates as a “band” – in this case, Car Seat Headrest. ‘Drunk Drivers/Killer Whales’ is off the project’s recommended album Teens Of Denial. The fact that this particular track reminds me of the combined output of some this blogger’s favourite bands (Sparklehorse, Beck, Okkervil River, Pavement) is a boon. Have a great week.

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Okkervil River – Okkervil River R.I.P. (2016)



Full disclosure: in 2005, I spent a reasonably significant time believing that Okkervil River’s album, Black Sheep Boy & Black Sheep Boy Appendix, was quite possibly the best thing that had happened to americana since Wilco. Fast forward over a decade and Okkervil River have released their eighth studio album Away. And by George, they’ve gone and called a new song ‘Okkervil River R.I.P.’ What are you up to Will Sheff? Are you a band or a transitory project? In the meantime, keep knocking out the class.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2005

I featured a few tracks from 2005 this week, but none of them made the cut. And so, in no particular order…

Kanye West feat. Adam Levine – Heard ‘Em Say

Sufjan Stevens – John Wayne-Gacy Jr

Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla

Brakes – You’re So Pretty

Arcade Fire – Wake Up

Spoon – The Beast And Dragon Adored

Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor

Okkervil River – A King And A Queen

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Baby C’Mon


Honourable mentions also go to: Devendra Banhart for ‘Santa Maria Da Feira‘; Gorillaz for ‘Hong Kong‘; Smog for ‘Rock Bottom Riser‘; My Morning Jacket for ‘Wordless Chorus‘; Lindstrom for ‘I Feel Space‘; Dangerdoom for ‘El Chupa Nibre‘; Kelley Stoltz for ‘The Sun Comes Through‘; Super Furry Animals for ‘Zoom!‘; and Little Barrie for ‘Free Salute‘.

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Okkervil River – Savannah Smiles (2007)

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Okkervil River again

After Black Sheep Boy, Okkervil River followed up with The Stage Names, probably their most popular album to date. Other than the critical success of its predecessor, I think that this was in a large part due to a number of more upbeat, rock sounds offsetting the darkness lurking elsewhere in Will Sheff’s lyrics. So I was was doubly surprised when it was ‘Savannah Smiles’ and not the suitably named ‘Unless It’s Kicks’ that featured as the outtro to Match Of The Day last weekend. The song is about the life and death of Shannon Wilsey, a pornographic actress.

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Okkervil River – A King and A Queen (2005)

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Okkervil River

Calming it down a tad before the weekend, here is ‘A King And A Queen’. Singer-songwriter Will Sheff’s style takes the form of love story with Okkervil River’s third long player Black Sheep Boy. With its fairy tale, border trumpets and big nods to Neutral Milk Hotel and Leonard Cohen, this brooding and romantic song is at the very heart of the album.

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