It may have been slightly alarming for Okkervil River fans to see the title of the first track on the band’s eighth studio album, Away. Nothing could be more blunt than “Okkervil River R.I.P.” Was this the end?

Not quite. At the heart of the matter was a tremendously pivotal time for front man Will Sheff, who was in the midst of tumultuous changes while working on the album, including major line-up shifts in his band, and the death of his grandfather. But, rather than being about endings and goodbyes, the album examines new beginnings, more of a rebirth or the impact made by new priorities. “I think this record was me taking my life back to zero and starting to add it all back up again, one plus one plus one,” Sheff said. “Eventually, I realized I was 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.”

Okkervil River’s Away tour includes a stop in Austin for a show tonight at the Parish, 214 E. 6th St., with Landlady and Corvette Summer on the bill. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Okkervil River totally rocked today’s Studio 1A set. Check them out this evening. Recommended.

-Photo courtesy of the artist.

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