'I Am Very Far' Released 9th May 2011
Okkervil River have announced a UK release date for their new album, plus a free mp3 and details of an extra London show in May.
'I Am Very Far', the sixth album from the Austin, Texas band, will be released 9th May on Jagjaguwar in the UK, and the next day in the USA.
Okkervil River has also announced a brand new, full band live show at London's Heaven on the 16th May. Tickets for the Heaven show are priced at £16.50
This follows frontman and songwriter Will Sheff's sold-out solo show at London's St Pancras Church on 28th March. Okkervil River will also be playing at this year's SXSW.
Watch this exclusive session for Rolling Stone.com performing an acoustic version of 'Wake And Be Fine', as well as an electric version of 'In A Radio Song', a fan favourite from third album 'Black Sheep Boy': 'I Am Very Far' features eleven new songs produced and arranged by Will Sheff in Austin, New York City and Connecticut.
Work on 'I Am Very Far' started after a year spent on other projects. Sheff contributed vocals to The New Pornographers' album 'Together', wrote a song for Norah Jones' 'The Fall', produced an upcoming album for the Brooklyn-based band Bird of Youth, and helmed Roky Erickson's acclaimed 'True Love Cast Out All Evil' with Okkervil River. Sheff was subsequently nominated for a 2011 GRAMMY for his liner notes to 'True Love...'.
"The goal was to push my brain to places it didn't want to go. The idea was to not have any idea - to keep myself confused about what I was doing," Will Sheff says about the new Okkervil album. "I produced it myself so that I could extend the songwriting process all the way through to the very last second of recording, so the songs would never really stop changing." The resulting record, 'I am Very Far,' is a startling break from anything this band has done before. By turns terrifying and joyous, violent and serene, grotesque and romantic, it's a celebration of forces beyond our control.
When Okkervil River released their breakthrough 'Black Sheep Boy' in 2005, Uncut wrote "Sheff's novelistic lyrics and the dexterous blend of country, folk and nervy indie-rock suggest a band approaching the peak of their powers." A New York Times piece on their 2007 follow-up 'The Stage Names' (and its companion album 'The Stand Ins') echoed, "Sheff writes like a novelist," and Pitchfork called him, "One of the best lyric-writers in indie rock." But on 'I am Very Far,' Sheff emerges not only as a songwriter of the highest calibre, but a producer and arranger of singular vision. Abandoning the tidy conceptual arcs of Okkervil River's previous albums, 'I am Very Far' is a monolithic, darkly ambiguous work, one that doesn't readily offer up its secrets.
Richer and weirder than fourth album 'The Stage Names' and deeper and moodier than even 'Black Sheep Boy,' 'I Am Very Far' is dense, fragmented, opaque. A reverie of uncertainty, it feels at once disorienting and oddly familiar, threatening and friendly. Okkervil River have thrown away all maps and compasses but they continue to chart their way, unblinking, toward destinations unknown.