Will Sheff and company release a new video touching on the concepts of growing up, developing a sense of self and the memories related to those early days.


Okkervil River have spent the past 12 or so years gouging a name for themselves in the folk-rock kingdom of conceptual spectacle, joining bands such as The Decemberists and The New Pornographers with weighty visions, grandiose live performances and highly preconceived album themes and concepts.

This would be the opposite of the party band. These groups spew lyrics of substance. They have over-arching themes. They are emotional without an ounce of irony, a hint of auto-tune, or a hair that has been flat-ironed into place. They take themselves Very. Seriously.

Though commendable, it also isn’t necessarily everyone’s cup of tea. Maybe I enjoy a little party in my band. Maybe I wish each note wasn’t gasped as if your very life depended upon it. However, I do laud the vigor with which these bands attack their task, and Okkervil River is no exception.

Front man Will Sheff explained the concept behind their latest video “Your Past Life as a Blast” from I Am Very Far (JagJaguwar):

“When I was writing the lyrics for ‘I Am Very Far’ I kept fixating on the idea of being new, specifically memories of being very little and being conscious of the fact that I was a new person, that I hadn’t existed before…certain images flashed in my head, and some of those images were specifically from my childhood, or of the way I remember earliest childhood feeling to me…I thought it would be cool to use actual footage of those memories in the video itself, to make a really personal kind of rock video. For the “Your Past Life as a Blast” video, I worked with the editor Alan Del RĂ­o OrtĂ­z to turn my dad’s home movies into a short condensed film of someone’s childhood, a little home-movie music video, about moms and dads and kids, and how it felt.”