Okkervil River Share Strange and Cinematic Video for New Song “Pulled Up the Ribbon” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Okkervil River Share Strange and Cinematic Video for New Song “Pulled Up the Ribbon”

In the Rainbow Rain Due Out April 27 via ATO

Mar 20, 2018 Okkervil River
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Okkervil River (the project of Will Sheff and backing band) are releasing a new album, In the Rainbow Rain, on April 27 via ATO. Previously they shared the album’s first single, “Don’t Move Back to LA” (which was one of our Songs of the Week). Now they have shared another song from the album, “Pulled Up the Ribbon,” via a strange and cinematic video directed by Christopher Good. It features the band performing the song on a rock beach next to lapping ocean waves, sometimes playing a giant guitar as they are clad in clothes seemingly from the 1700s. A press release says the video “follows the band as they embark on a mystical journey that seems to transcend time.” Watch it below, followed by the band’s upcoming tour dates.

Sheff had this to say about the song in a press release: “When I first started working on ‘Pulled Up the Ribbon’ I felt really excited about the melody and the chords in a way that made me nervous, because I felt pressure to write lyrics for it and nothing seemed quite right. I started with something quite dark and violent, and it felt like a good direction but I kept hitting creative dead ends. And then I realized there was something in the melody and phrasing that seemed like it was about destruction and doom but also something else that felt like it was about creation and birth. So I decided to try to write a kind of praise song for the force behind all of those things. The song started as a waltz ballad, briefly turned into a Motown-style number, and then we streamlined it and Will Graefe added that hook. I had heard some of the great vocal performances on our keyboardist Sarah’s album with her project Lip Talk and knew I wanted her to sing on the song, and she elevated it further. And then, when I took the song to Shawn Everett to mix, he stripped out a lot of the padding from the track and made everything more aggressive and skeletal, with the drums and bass way up in the mix, the beauty amped up but also the spooky stuff. This was the only one of Shawn’s mixes where there were no notes, no tweaking. He played me the track and I said ‘whoa’ and approved it and we moved on.”

Good had this to say about directing the video: “It’s such a sweeping, rousing, almost elemental-sounding track. I immediately thought of the rock beach in Rockport, Massachusetts’ Halibut Point State Park as an appropriately evocative backdrop and then from there just let my mind wander!”

Sheff self-produced In the Rainbow Rain, which was mixed by Shawn Everett (Perfume Genius, The War on Drugs). The album is the follow-up to 2016’s Away. Sheff’s backing band for In the Rainbow Rain is Benjamin Lazar Davis (bass), Will Graefe (guitar), Sarah Pedinotti (keys), and Cully Symington (percussion)-Sheff’s band on the Away tour. Sheff reflected on that tour in a previous press release: “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 began writing In the Rainbow Rain right after the 2016 Presidential election. “If December 2016 was good for anything, it was good for writing songs,” he said in the previous press release.

In the press release Sheff said previous single “Don’t Move Back to LA” “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.”

Okkervil River Tour Dates:

Apr 27 - Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade NYC (Album Release Show) - SOLD OUT
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 26 - Austin, TX @ Mohawk (Hot Luck Festival)
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

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Alex Wolfe
March 24th 2018

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