Top Ten Underrated Alternative Bands: Okkervil River

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Okkervil River successfully mixes Alternative Rock with Folk, Country, and Pop.

Their style is uniquely their own, and I think that comes from the fact they hail from the weirdest city in Texas — Austin.  With vivid story telling, and string arrangements that chill the soul, Okkervil River has made a name for themselves in a market flooded with thousands of quirky Alterna-rock bands. However, for the most part they still remain undiscovered by most consumers.

The first song I really got attached to was “On Tour With Zykos,” a song that’s so beautifully written that I became obsessed with it. I listened to it on repeat for weeks. It spoke to me as a person who’s been in love with someone who honestly could give a damn about you before.

He gets close, but I choke
Take your shit, take your clothes
And get out of my home
Well, I want you to love me
Or I want you long gone
You say your real name is John

Hey, thanks John
Go sing songs, go rock on
Roll your crew on down the road
To the next sold out show
Think you can get up above me?
Well, I want you to know

You’re a figure of fun to everyone
‘Neath the lone star, neon blue broken sign
They wish they were you
Like I wish you were mine
What a dumb thing to do

How come I shout “Goodbye”
When god knows I just want to
Make this white lie big enough
To climb inside with you

Another day, lost and gone
Clipping pages from the news for the senator’s son
Well, he just strolls through the lobby
And glad-hands everyone
Another day, tossed and done

I go home, take off clothes
Smoke a bowl, watch a whole TV movie
I was supposed to be writing
The most beautiful poems
And completely revealing
Divine mysteries up close
I can’t say that I’m feeling
All that much at all
At 27 years old

I’m discussed with desire by the guys who conspire
At the only decent bar in town
And they drink MGD’s
And they wish they had me
Like I wish I had fire
What a sad way to be
What a girl who got tired

So, I wonder who you got your hooks in tonight
Was she happy to be hooked and on your arm?
Did she feel alive?
Her head alright

The next song that earned repeat status from me was Westfall. Westfall is another vivid story painted meticulously by front man Will Sheff. I can’t help but go over the lyrics in my head as go through out the day, and imagine the whole story that’s behind this song. Here are my favorite lyrics from it:

Colin Kincaid from the twelfth grade
I guess you could say he was my best friend
Lived in a big tall house out on Westfall
Where we would hide when the rain rolled in
Where we would hide when the rain rolled in

We went out one night and took a flashlight
Out with these two girls Colin knew from Kenwood Christian
One was named Laurie, that’s what the story
Said next week in the Guardian
Said next week in the Guardian

And when I killed her it was so easy
That I wanted to kill her again
I got down on both of my knees and
She ain’t coming back again
She ain’t coming back again

Okkervil River is also working on a movie called “Down Down the Deep River.”

Okkervil River really has so many good songs it’s hard to suggest one album to buy, or listen to.

Here’s my top seven favorite songs of theirs:


Leave us a Comment