With everyone in the house now asleep, and a long day of work behind me, I’m finally getting a chance to sit down with the brand new Okkervil River record, I Am Very Far. And I’m having a rather difficult time with it, which is not at all what I expected - it’s less immediately engaging than anything they’ve ever done before, much more dense and much harder to lose yourself in. Which I’m guessing is intentional, just like I’m guessing there are hidden rewards to be found deeper in, if only because I’m firmly of the belief that Will Sheff is the best lyricist of the last decade, as well as a hugely intelligent and ambitious artist, and thus willing to give him his justly earned benefit of the doubt.
Still, it’s sad to be struggling with this record on first listen, as Okkervil River has been my favorite band for the past five years, and I wanted to get lost inside this record tonight far more than I wanted to be challenged by it. Here’s to hoping I feel differently by the time I get to the end of the record. Or give it a few more spins.