Okkervil River - 'Let's make people feel good in this crazy time of fear'

Will Sheff led band return with music to 'make people feel excited and safe'

Okkervil River leader, founder, vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter, Will Sheff.

Okkervil River leader, founder, vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter, Will Sheff.

OKKERVIL RIVER have been on the go for 20 years, in that time they have had many members, but at the centre of it all has been the band founder, lead singer, and songwriter, Will Sheff.

Not only does 2018 mark the band's two decades in existence, it has also seen the release of Okkervil River's ninth album, In The Rainbow Rain, and will see them play their first gig in Galway in almost a decade, when they take to the stage of the Róisín Dubh on Friday October 12 at 8pm.

The band's music draws on indie-rock, folk, and country, with Sheff's lyrics displaying a novelist's eye for detail. They have won acclaim for such masterpieces as Black Sheep Boy (2005 ), The Stage Names (2007 ), and I Am Very Far (2011 ). However Sheff has declared In The Rainbow Rain as "maybe the most fun Okkervil River record ever. And it’s going to be great playing it live."

"I'm incredibly proud of this album," he said. "I feel like so much of my life has been building to this, from the earlier records like The Stage Names and The Silver Gymnasium, that this feels like a second cousin of to 2016's Away, which was a kind of creative clearing-of-the-decks which made this album possible. In The Rainbow Rain is the product of me and the band in a great mood and doing our best to make something that will make people feel good, and excited, and safe, and warm, and fuzzy, and uplifted, and buffeted along in this crazy time of so much fear, and danger, and opportunity to change it all up for the better."

The latest Okkervil River line-up is Sheff, Benjamin Lazar Davis (bass ), Will Graefe (guitar ), Sarah Pedinotti (keys ) and Cully Symington (percussion ). Sheff says much of the new album's inspiration came from his reaction to the election of Donald Trump and the inspiration he drew from the Quaker meetings he began attending in 2017.

Support is from Gaze Is Ghost. Tickets are available from www.roisindubh.net; the Ticket Desk at [email protected], Shop Street; and The Róisín Dubh.

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