Music News

Okkervil River's Silver Gymnasium Makes One Hell of a Case for Nostalgia

Good luck finding much of anyone using the term "nostalgic" as a compliment nowadays, but I wonder if we might revise our position based on Okkervil River's latest, The Silver Gymnasium, released on ATO Records (their first for the label, after years with Jagjaguwar) just last Tuesday.

To be sure, Okkervil's laying the nostalgia on pretty thick. Gymnasium is a concept album "set" in a mid-1980s Meriden, NH, the boyhood home of Okkervil's frontman, Will Sheff. As with everything Okkervil does, though, the music's only part of the larger package: the William Schaff artwork for the record (which Sheff describes as his "single favorite piece" that Schaff has done for the band) is a map of Meriden, complete with number assignments for each place referenced in each song.