|Okkervil River at Variety Playhouse, September 21, 2013|
Okkervil River last played Atlanta on September 21, 2013 at Variety Playhouse (Torres opened). The time since that gig was evidently a difficult one for frontman Will Sheff, as he has written:
2013-2015 had been a strange time for me. I lost some connections in a music industry that was visibly falling apart. Some members of the backing band left, moving on to family life or to their own projects. I spent a good deal of time in hospice sitting with my grandfather, who was my idol, while he died. I felt like I didn’t know where I belonged. When there was trouble at home, a friend offered me her empty house in the Catskills where I could go and clear my head. New songs were coming fast up there, so I set myself the challenge of trying to write enough to make a whole record. I didn’t really think about what the record was going to be or if I’d even release it—the idea was just to write quickly and directly. Eventually, I realized I was kind of writing a death story for a part of my life that had, buried inside of it, a path I could follow that might let me go somewhere new.
The new record that came out of Sheff's period of introspection is called Away, and the lead off cut is Okkervil River, R.I.P. According to Sheff, "It’s not really an Okkervil River album and it’s also my favorite Okkervil River album."
Exactly three years to the day after the Variety Playhouse set, a new Okkervil River will be playing Atlanta on a 9.21.16 date at Terminal West.