Oh boy! Today Okkervil River, the prolific and hyper-literate folk-rock band from Austin, unveiled “It Was My Season,” the first single from their forthcoming album. Beginning with a jaunty piano line and quickly gaining thickness and thump, the song seems to pick up where the group's superb 2011 release I Am Very Far left off, with a big approach to intimate songs that convey the sometimes immediacy of memory through an eloquently warped folk palette. The splintery beauty of singer/songwriter Will Sheff's voice is made for ruminant storytelling and philosophical heartbreaking, so it's no surprise that the lyrics here focus on a couple of star-crossed lovers dying to escape the confines of their tiny town and their tiny lives. The uncharacteristic vocal layering near the end of the song, drives home the misty-eyed narrator's omniscience and — stopping to leave the singer's voice alone with the piano again — accentuates the song's intimacy.
The new album, entitled The Silver Gymnasium, “takes place in 1986 in a small town in New Hampshire” according to Okkervil River's lead man Will Sheff's twitter. Seems like the perfect setting for familiarly nostalgic and patient material from one of indie-rock's finest acts.