Okkervil River Have All the 80s Covers for the Holidays

I feel like I do OK at not letting my Okkervil River fanboy-ism get too out of hand on the Dog Blog. Sure, I may have gone on not just about their most recent record, this year’s fantastic The Silver Gymnasium, but also the album’s fantastic artwork later on the Dog Blog.

But when they came out for a computer game for the record? I kept it to myself. When they started a Kickstarter to make a short film based around the centrepiece of the album? I was also quiet about that.

So I don’t feel like I’m spamming you too much to point you towards their third Golden Opportunities mix. For a few years now, the Austin-ish based folk-rock band have put out a free covers EP around the holidays. The first was a rougher, fans-only kinda thing, mostly featuring frontman Will Sheff and a cobbled together assortment of covers he’d played.

This time around, the whole band plays everything live off the floor, giving this batch of songs a raucous bit of life. As with Okkervil’s live recordings, Sheff’s a little unhinged, close to the edge of howling at times. Elsewhere, he tones it down, like for a simply wonderful and moving cover of Rosanne Cash’s “Seven Year Ache”. The songs are all from the 80s, in keeping with the setting of The Silver Gymnasium, but they’re all firmly in line with the sound of Okkervil. Wang Chung, George Benson, Cyndi Lauper and Don Henley have nothing to complain about with what the band’s done with their songs.