The most troubling aspect of being such a voracious fan of music is that I often fill my life with so many various (and varied) artists that becoming obsessed with one in particular is a rare occurrence. And I miss this. I miss my early teen years of listening to Led Zeppelin II so many times that the CD laser burned holes in the plastic. I miss going to the record store with only one goal in mind: collect every last album ever recorded by The Beatles. I miss trying to memorize every line to every Bob Dylan song I heard, if for no other reason than to be able to recite them at will whenever I thought it would impress a girl. I miss my obsessions.
But every once in a while the bug will bite, and I’ll feel that insatiable, crackhead desire to listen to a particular artist over and over again without cease. Iron and Wine did this to me. Wilco did this to me. My Morning Jacket did this to me. And I think Okkervil River is doing this to me right now. Walking the line between sleepy, deep-woods reflection and rollicking Americana rock, Okkervil—an Austin, TX outfit led by frontman Will Sheff—has captured my heart and mind, and I think it will be a good long while before the love affair ends. The lyrics are simultaneously introspective and self-deprecating, sad and full of joy, sweet and bitter. It’s everything I could ask for in a band and I’m happy to share a piece of them here with you.