When: 7.00pm on Saturday 10 November
Where: The Roadhouse, 8 Newton St, Manchester M1 2AN
Okkervil River are an alt-country quartet formed in New Hampshire whose first two albums, Okkervil River (2001) and Don’t Fall in Love with Everyone You See (Jagjaguwar, 2002), introduced an unusual balance of evocative keyboards, strong rhythms, tasty horn and string arrangements and plaintive vocals (from frontman Will Sheff).
The band’s arrangements then matured with 2003’s Down the River of Golden Dreams. The lament of It Ends with a Fall relies on cantillating piano, gospel organ and chamber strings, while storytelling and instrumental parts are tighly integrated, as the accordion and mandolin prove in Dead Faces. Sheff’s delivery is a neutral, straight talk that hardly homages any of American greats. It is the instruments that create the magic – rarely has alt-country sounded so varied and melodic.
New album The Stage Names is released in September, and if anything like their two most recent albums Black Sheep Boy and Black Sheep Boy Appendix, then it promises to be a modern classic.
This is a co-promotion with Pineapple Folk.