Okkervil River

band that plays alternative country

Okkervil River is an indie-rock band. Formed in 1998, they've released five full-length albums and several EPs.

Current band members:

  • Will Sheff
  • Travis Nelsen
  • Patrick Pestorius
  • Scott Brackett
  • Justin Sherburn
  • Lauren Gurgiolo


Stars Too Small To Use (1999)Edit

  • I live in a building where nobody knows me,
    I go to bed early, I sleep in my clothes.
    At night I hear screaming down in the street,
    I dream that I'm slipping, I reach for my feet.
    • Oh, Precious
  • There is no escaping the thing that is making its home in your radio.
    • For the Captain (This line - and song - pops up again during the Black Sheep Boy era.)
  • The house in the valley is open this week.
    Imagine the sea looking in
    at the slowly moving sheets.
    • He Passes Number Thirty-Three

Don't Fall in Love With Everyone You See (2002)Edit

  • Now, with all these cameras focused on my face,
    You'd think they could see it through my skin.
    They're looking for evil, thinking they can trace it,
    But evil don't look like anything.
    • Westfall

Julie Doiron / Okkervil River (2003)Edit

  • Feel a brand-new storm surround your form tonight...
    • Blackest Coat

Down the River of Golden Dreams (2003)Edit

  • Wish I could remember why it mattered to me. It doesn't matter to me. It doesn't matter to me anymore.
    • It Ends with a Fall
  • Safe, safe - enjoy your time feeling so safe, and treasure that smile on your face, okay? Because time will see that it’s replaced in a while.
    • Blanket and Crib
  • How did I climb out of a life so boring into that moment? Please stop ignoring the heart inside, oh you readers at home! While you gasp at my bloody crimes, please take the time to make your heart my home: where I'm forgiven by time, where I'm cushioned by hope, where I'm numbed by long drives, where I'm talked off or doped. Does the heart wants to atone? Oh, I believe that it’s so, because if I could climb back through time, I'd restore their lives and then give back my own: tens of times now its size on a far distant road in a far distant time where every night I'm still crying, entirely alone.
    • The War Criminal Rises and Speaks
  • Let's go back up to your house and take our clothes off and just push and pull ourselves until we're deep inside of sleep
    • Seas Too Far To Reach
  • And I really do think that there’s probably more good than anger or selfishness, sickness, or sadness would ever completely allow us to have in this life, I think I'm sure. But that doesn't mean it's bad.
    • Yellow

Sham Wedding/Hoax Funeral (Split w/ Shearwater) (2004)Edit

  • Ooh, murderess, in the wilderness, with your victims all around you, their combined love forms a pool your knife’s reflected in. Now I’m ready, too, with my throat to you, on this island, by this moon. What I want the most to do is show I’m not like them.
    • Murderess

Sleep and Wake-Up Songs (EP) (2004)Edit

  • Her stinging eyes, and her sixteen-hour drive, and our shared, transparent rope, and our icy dive through hope I'll memorise, and I'll cut into my mind.
    • Just Give Me Time
  • Rapt, in "Star Wars" sheets, with my hand across your belly, we waded through the watercolor. And drunk in your parents house, junk coming out of your mouth, we were buried in the ice sculpture, and you said "I would be anything that you wanted me to be...but how could I change my body?"
    • A Favor

Black Sheep Boy (2005)Edit

  • But if I could tear his throat, and spill his blood between my jaws, and erase his name out for good, don't you know that I would? Don't you realize that I wouldn’t pause, that I would cut him down with my claws if I could have somehow never let that happen? Or I'd call, some black midnight, fuck up his new life where they don't know what he did, tell his brand-new wife and his second kid.
    • Black
  • Look, though, I don't know what notes you want to hear played, I can't think what lines you'd like me to sing or say, and I'm not sure what subjects you want mentioned. So pause and add your own intentions.
    • The Latest Toughs
  • And I think I believe that, if stones could dream, they'd dream of being laid side-by-side, piece-by-piece, and turned into a castle for some towering queen they're unable to know. And when that queen's daughter came of age, I think she'd be lovely and stubborn and brave, and suitors would journey from kingdoms away to make themselves known. And I think that I know the bitter dismay of a lover who brought fresh bouquets every day when she turned him away to remember some knave who once gave just one rose, one day, years ago.
    • A Stone
  • Hot breath, rough skin, warm laughs, and smiling. The loveliest words whispered and meant, you like all these things.
    • A Stone
  • I put my lips to your face, trying to push his kiss out of its place
    • Song of Our So-Called Friend
  • Some nights I thirst for real blood, for real knives, for real cries. And then the flash of steel from real guns in real life really fills my mind.
    • For Real
  • There's nothing quite like the blinding light when that curtain's cast aside.
    • For Real
  • A black sheep boy dissolves in hot cream, in sweet moans, in each dead bed and empty home, in each seething bacterium. Killing softly and serial, he lifts his head, handsome, horned, magisterial. He's the smell of the moonlight wisteria. He’s the thrill of the abecedarian. (See the muddy hoofprints where he carried you?) And there’s plenty of ways to claim his crimes tonight, and there's plenty of things to do on his dime. And there's plenty of ways to wear his hide tonight. You've got yours and I've got mine. So why did you flee? Don't you know you can’t leave his control, only call all his wild works your own?
    • So Come Back, I Am Waiting
  • So come back and we'll take them all on. So come back to your life on the lam. So come back to your old black sheep man. He says, "I am waiting on hoof and on hand. I am waiting, all hated and damned. I am waiting - I snort and I stamp. I am waiting, you know that I am, calmly waiting to make you my lamb."
    • So Come Back, I Am Waiting
  • But the best thing for you would be queen, so be queen; you're all that I need. Though I know that it never can be, I'd be pleased to post your decrees, to fall at your knees; to name all your streets and to sit down and weep when you're carried back through them and set down to sleep, and to lie by your side for sublime centuries, 'till we crumble to dust when we're crushed by a single sunbeam.
    • A King And A Queen

Black Sheep Boy Appendix (EP) (2005)Edit

  • Kids get lost, lambs out wandering. Bigger, blacker things go following them into a patch of forest somebody once planted for this song. (It's not over. Phones are still ringing. Eyes are still rolling, eyes are still clinging. Something in the air starts singing...Radios switched on and buzzing. Something in the wind starts humming. Something in the field starts hunting...) Kids grow up and kids go numb. And, kids, it's coming. Kids, it's going to come.
    • Missing Children
  • Bless this tiny alley; we have fallen, from tall buildings we have fallen through the air into a garden sweetly smelling of the softest sleeping flowers (now they sit under the sidewalk, now they're waiting for the shining of some future sun to show us all that brings you beauty and all that gives you pleasure); I could sigh into your hide and say "I hope I'm here forever, but black sheep boy - with your lovers, with your list of favorite pillows, with your list of missing children, with the walls where you drew windows overlooking hidden gardens cut apart by jagged mountains (climbing up into the air and crumbling down into a fountain where the water waits forever, like a quiet, distant treasure) - when you rise up to recover, when you leave this tiny alley, when you meet me in the garden with your horns all hung with cedar, every spirit brushing past me brushing past them in the ether screams 'all this is window dressing, all you are is flimsy curtains - watch, you flame up with a word from us and don't know that you're burning."
    • Another Radio Song (These lyrics originally appeared in For The Captain from Stars Too Small To Use)

The Stage Names (2007)Edit

  • By the second verse, dear friends, my head will burst and my life will end, so I'd like to start this one off by saying "live! and love!"
    • John Allyn Smith Sails
  • So hoist up the John B. sail. See how the main sail sets. I'm full in my heart and my head and I want to go home, with a book in each hand, in the way I had planned. I feel so broke up, I want to go home.
    • John Allyn Smith Sails
  • All of the stage names evaporate, and it's just a blood-flushed and heart-rushing race; either to kick off too soon or stick round too late, to be far too dear or too cut-rate.
    • Title Track
  • So take this thin, broken-down circus-clown reject and give her the name of a queen. Don't I know her from the mezzanine? Well, she didn't look like no princess to me.
    • Title Track

The Stand Ins (2008)Edit

  • I've got my ear against the screen, I feel your feelings crackling through every single inch of me; I'm going to make you mean it. With every single cell of me, I'm going to make you mean the words you sigh.
    • Blue Tulip

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