Will Sheff is het brein van de alt folk-country-indie-rock formatie Okkervil River en na 20 jaar en 9 studio-albums met initiëel zijn ‘buddies from high school’ is het nu tijd voor zijn eerste solo-release. Twee jaar geleden overleed zijn ‘main old buddie/drummer’ Travis Nelsen, en “Nothing Special” gaat met name over “grieving for him, grieving for everything my friends have lost, grieving for the rock and the rock & roll myth, and trying to open my eyes to a more transcendent reality.”

Ook zijn recente verhuizing van Austin, Texas naar Los Angeles had z’n weerslag, want “Nothing Special” is daarnaast geïnspireerd door de overweldigende natuurschoon van zuidelijk Californie. Je hoort Jeff op z’n meest ingetogen; “unconventional, lush, patient and deliberate songs with delicate passages, rich arrangements, decaying synthesizers, liquid guitar tones, cinematic soundscapes, psychedelic tunes and gentle positive vibes!”

The song “Estrangement Zone” sets Sheff’s less-than-hopeful vision of society’s decline to retrofuturistic digital timbres more associated with Oneohtrix Point Never or Boards Of Canada than Okkervil River. The video is directed by Johnny North and prominently features Marcus Paek as a character simply called ‘The Youth’. It’s a mystical desert fantasy that’s part “Dune”, part “Stalker”.

Sheff: “I think of the video as a kind of magical spell the crew and I were trying to cast – a parable about endings and beginnings happening simultaneously.”

9 augustus 2022
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