On the heels of last year’s “The Stage Names,” its best seller to date, Austin-based rock act Okkervil River returns Sept. 9 with another Jagjaguwar album, “The Stand Ins.”
The 11 tracks here were mostly culled from material written and recorded during “The Stage Name” sessions, with the exception of one “Singer Songwriter,” which was recorded during a recent tour with the New Pornographers.
Frontman Will Sheff says the band opted not release a double album combining “The Stage Names” in “The Stand Ins” primarily because “I don’t like double albums and I really wanted to make a short record. Everybody in the band felt the same way. It was just the case of making a short record and feeling attachment to the songs — and putting out a part two.”
This isn’t the first time Okkervil River has used a follow-up album as a continuation of an earlier work. 2005’s “Black Sheep Boy” was followed by the “Black Sheep Boy Appendix,” but Sheff doesn’t see this as a business decision. If anything, he’s weary about over-saturating the market. “It’s not our next word, musically,” he cautions.
Indeed, “The Stand Ins” sounds like the upbeat, country-infused rock that “The Stage Names” championed, but Sheff views the album has having a “thrust of production. One of the fun things about working on [the album] was, we felt a lot less sense of pressure,” he explains. “We used the same instruments and same methodology, but [by] using themes from songs in other songs, [‘The Stand Ins’] comes back and elaborates on older tunes.”
Sheff is currently working on a handful of undisclosed projects and says that after upcoming summer and fall tours, Okkervil River intends to take “a long break.”
Here is the track list for “The Stand Ins”:
“Stand Ins, One”
“Stand Ins, Two”
“On Tour With Zykos”
“Calling And Not Calling My Ex”
“Stand Ins, Three”
“Bruce Wayne Campbell Interviewed On The Roof Of The Chelsea Hotel, 1979”