New Band of the Month: July – Okkervil River

Every month this year, I’m dedicating myself to getting into a new band.  By ‘new band’, what I really mean is an old band who I’ve known of for awhile but have for one reason or another never checked out.  Maybe they were a genre I wasn’t into, maybe they were the favorite band of someone I didn’t like, maybe I was just lazy.  Whatever reason, I’m going to spend the month trying to get into them.

If, at the end of the month, I find myself enjoying the music I’ll buy an album.  And if not, I’ll save my money for something else.

My New Band for July is:

Okkervil River


From the wiki page

Okkervil River is an indie rock band from Austin, Texas. Formed in 1998, the band takes its name from a short story by Russian author Tatyana Tolstaya. They self-released their first album, Stars Too Small to Use, which led them to the South by Southwest music festival. After recording their first album in a garage, they signed with Jagjaguwar. Okkervil River continued by releasing four more albums, including the critically lauded concept album Black Sheep Boy.

My personal history with Okkervil River:

One song: A Stone.  That’s it.  As far as I know, I’ve never heard any other song by the band.  Frankly, though, that’s probably one song more than the vast majority of the population.  Unlike, say Bruce Springsteen or, even, King Crimson, Okkervil River isn’t one of those massively influential acts who I’ve just somehow avoided.  So why spend a month on an indie band that most people will never hear the name of, let alone listen to their music?

Because they are one of those indie bands that resides in the general sphere of my musical taste and yet I’ve just never given them a chance.  There isn’t a reason, as far as I know.  They weren’t the favorite band of someone I hated.  They don’t remind me of an ex-girlfriend.  There is no negative association with them at all.  They have for some unknown reason just never entered into my library, even though based on their genre bedfellows and that one song, A Stone, I’m pretty sure I would love their stuff.

And this isn’t like LCD Soundsystem, where they’re an Important Indie Band who turns out to be rather boring when I finally give them a chance.  Or, at least, I hope that’s not the case.

But I guess that’s what I’m going to find out.  Any of you hip indie kids who were into Okkervil River way before they were cool, let me know which of their albums is the absolute bee’s knees.  And if you’ve never even heard of them but your curiosity has been piqued, why not give them a chance with me this month?

2 thoughts on “New Band of the Month: July – Okkervil River

  1. I was searching for Okkervil River photos just now then saw this blog post. They’ve been my favorite band for 5 or 6 years now, and I think you should listen to Black Sheep Boy, the album, all the way through, plus the appendix, a collection of about 5 more songs related to the album. Wiki-search it too, the album has a beautiful dark theme, Idk how someone could not love it. Also, like actually read the lyrics of the songs….They’re the best lyrics ever, in my opinion. Another good newer song, if you like A Stone, is Hanging from a Hit.

    • During my month of checking out this band, I did listen to Black Sheep Boy and enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s on my list of to buy albums, along with most of their music, actually. I’ll definitely look into their lyrics, though just from listening I could tell they were pretty great (but it’s true, you can’t always appreciate lyrics until you read them).

      If you want to know my thoughts on the band, you can check out my follow up post here:

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