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  • Okkervil River

    Formed by Will Sheff in 1998, Okkervil River is an indie-rock band from Austin, Texas that incorporates elements of orchestral pop, alt-country, and folk into its sound. Okkervil River’s 2005 album Black Sheep Boy won the band national and then international acclaim, after Virgin Records re-released it overseas. This was followed by 2007’s The Stage Names, which has been lauded as a near-perfect masterpiece that displays Sheff’s gift as a wordsmith and the band’s ability to match his hyper-literate lyrics with majestic and textured arrangements. Expanding from a trio to a six-piece, Okkervil River has featured a wide array of instrumentation, adding lap steel, banjo, pump organ, mandolin, synths, strings, Motown horns, and Wurlitzer to its rustic bass/guitar/drums roots. While often characterized by contrasts – brutal yet elegant, raw but ornate – the cathartic, honest quality of the music has resonated with everyone from Lou Reed to 13th Floor Elevators founder Roky Erickson.

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