Lyric Video: New Okkervil River (Americana Alert)

Okkervil River

Much-awaited new album from Texas legends drops in September.

 Okkervil River has unveiled “It Was My Season,” the first song from ‘The Silver Gymnasium’ (Sep 3/ATO Records), and more details about the new album produced by John Agnello (Kurt Vile, Dinosaur Jr., John Mellencamp, Cyndi Lauper). Will Sheff announced via Twitter: “‘The Silver Gymnasium’ takes place in 1986 in a small town in New Hampshire” and the new lyric video takes listeners there.

 On, Will Sheff explains the video was filmed in the Town Hall of Plainfield, NH – near where Sheff grew up – on a stage set painted by renowned American artist Maxfield Parrish in 1916. Depicting a classic New England woodland scene, Parrish designed the set to interact with a multi-part light show to simulate dawn, early morning, full afternoon sun, and dusk. In this video, Plainfield’s long-serving Town Librarian Nancy Norwalk operates the lightshow to the accompaniment of “It Was My Season.”

Sheff describes the inspiration for choosing this location: “I remember nights as a kid where we’d go to the Town Hall and watch guys from the town get up and play little rock and roll sets in front of this beautiful three-dimensional Maxfield Parrish backdrop while ladies would sell cans of Coke and 7-Up through the concession window. As time passed in my life, the backdrop seemed less real to me and I wanted to go back to film it to see if it was really there and was as cool as I remember it. It’s even cooler now thanks to the great work of Nancy Norwalk and a group of Plainfield preservationists who cleaned and restored it a decade or so ago – the backdrop is still lit by a custom lighting rig special-ordered from New York City in 1916, though the Town Hall itself is over a hundred years older than that. For the first song from the record I wanted Nancy to give everybody out there in internetland a chance to see her run the beautiful times-of-day lightshow by hand to the accompaniment of the music.”

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