12 February, 2018Print
Okkervil River to Release 'In The Rainbow Rain' April 27 on ATO RecordsThe Group's Most Immediate - and Meaningful - Album To Date; Listen to New Song "Don't Move Back to LA"
On April 27, ATO Records will release Okkervil River's 'In The Rainbow Rain,' the group's most immediate - and meaningful - album to date. On it, bandleader Will Sheff makes a startling left turn from the their critically-lauded and inward-looking 2016 album 'Away,' crafting an exuberant declaration of hope. In place of 'Away''s somber strings and acoustic textures, 'In the Rainbow Rain' is full of dazzling color, spattered with starbursts of electric guitar, big blooms of synth, and a chorus of backing vocals. It's a buoyant and playful record, but also open and emotionally vulnerable. Sheff says, "I wanted to make a record where a sense of kindness felt encoded into the music."
To accompany the announcement, Okkervil River have released new song "Don't Move Back To LA," the light-hearted midpoint of the album. Sheff says the song "had a very straightforward impulse behind it: a bunch of my best friends all moved to LA and I was really sad about it so I wrote a song about how I didn't want them to leave...I think the song is also kind of about my own deep and long-held desire to get the hell out of New York City."
'In The Rainbow Rain' - produced by Sheff and mixed by Shawn Everett (Perfume Genius, Alabama Shakes, The War on Drugs) - serves as showcase for Sheff's writing and the musical interplay of his new band mates, Benjamin Lazar Davis (bass), Will Graefe (guitar), Sarah Pedinotti (keys) and Cully Symington (percussion) - the same iteration of Okkervil River that joined Sheff on the Away tour. Recalls Sheff of that tour: "It was my favorite touring experience in many years... I felt like a kid again. I realized how phenomenally lucky I am that I've been able to play music for this long."
Sheff and the band started work on the new album shortly after the end of that tour - and the presidential election. "If December 2016 was good for anything, it was good for writing songs," he says. Galvanized by the seismic events of that Fall and the following year, Sheff, sometimes co-writing with his new band, channeled his outrage and sadness into music intended to be hopeful, healing and uplifting. Inspired by the Quaker meetings he had been attending, Sheff injected the album with undercurrents of spirituality and gratitude. The result is something akin to a modern secular gospel record, and among the best music of his career.
Highlights include driving, melodic anthems "Love Somebody" and "Pulled Up The Ribbon," and "Famous Tracheotomies," which chronicles notable figures who've endured the titular procedure, including Gary Coleman, Dylan Thomas, Ray Davies, and Sheff himself. "In places, the record deals with heavy things like trauma and betrayal and shame, but, actually, it's supposed to be a good time," says Sheff. "I hope it's something fun, that makes people feel happier."
Okkervil River will tour in support of 'In The Rainbow Rain,' including a stop at SXSW and a very special release show at Rough Trade NYC on release day. See below for a full routing, all tickets go on sale this Friday, February 16.
Okkervil River's 2016 album 'Away' (ATO Records) earned praise from the New York Times, who dubbed the record "wry and wistful," and NPR Music, who called the music "gorgeous...warm, soft and contemplative."
'IN THE RAINBOW RAIN' TRACK LIST
1) Famous Tracheotomies
2) The Dream And The Light
3) Love Somebody
4) Family Song
5) Pulled Up The Ribbon
6) Don't Move Back To LA
7) Shelter Song
8) How It Is
9) External Actor
10) Human Being Song
OKKERVIL RIVER TOUR DATES
Apr 27 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade NYC (Album Release Show)
May 20 - Washington, DC @ The Black Cat
May 21 - Carboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle
May 22 - Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5
May 24 - Dallas, TX @ The Kessler Theater
May 25 - Houston, TX @ The Heights Theater
May 29 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom
May 31 - Los Angeles, CA @ Teregram Ballroom
June 1 - Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
June 2 - San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo's 365 Club
June 4 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos
June 5 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
June 7 - Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room
June 8 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
June 9 - Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
June 11 - St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
June 12 - Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
June 13 - Detroit, MI @ El Club
June 14 - Toronto, ON @ Horseshoe Tavern
June 15 - Woodstock, NY @ Colony
June 16 - Boston, MA @ Royale
MORE INFO ON OKKERVIL RIVER