The following event announcement was sent to the Bloomingtonian:
|October 7, 2022|
| Will Sheff (Okkervil River) Releases Solo Debut Nothing Special, Out Today On ATO Records|
At Stereogum, Sheff Opens Up About Moving On From Okkervil River — Read HERE
Watch The Video For Album Opener “The Spiral Season” HERE
|Announces New Tour Dates, Including European Shows — See Full Dates Below|
|Today, Will Sheff — known for his work with his acclaimed indie rock project Okkervil River —releases his debut solo album Nothing Special on ATO Records. Produced by Sheff and recorded over three different sessions with John Congleton (St. Vincent, The War On Drugs), Matt Linesch (Edward Sharpe, Gil Landry), and Marshall Vore (Phoebe Bridgers, Conor Oberst), Nothing Special finds Sheff reprocessing his sense of self, reflecting on misguided past ambitions, and reclaiming his sense of purpose. It’s an album that consolidates Sheff’s considerable strengths as a songwriter — deft poeticism, earnest and earned emotionality, a knack for melodic catharsis — and casts them onto a broad and unhurried sonic architecture. Like the album’s artwork, it finds Sheff gazing out into the expanse and witnessing the possibilities that await. |
Listen to Nothing Special here.
And watch the video for album opener “The Spiral Season” — a triumphant piece of music that depicts Sheff’s personal journey with fantastical metaphors, before culminating in an ecstatic guitar solo — here.
Says Sheff about “The Spiral Season”:
“The Spiral Season” went through many incarnations. It was a fantasy narrative, and then an autobiography of myself, and then it turned into an autobiography of a 16th century magician, and then I opened the window and all of those ideas flew out and the California landscape came crashing in with all its grandeur and its vulnerability, and fireworks went off and the moon rose overhead and Benjamin Lazar Davis and I wrote a big shouty chorus and everything finally started to make sense. And then we went into the studio and everybody played it wonderfully, and Will Graefe jumped in with that soaring guitar solo that we just let run out as long as it needed to be because it felt so good.”
Recording with some old friends (guitarist Will Graefe and bassist Benjamin Lazar Davis) as well as new collaborators (singer/songwriter Christian Lee Hutson, Dawes drummer Griffin Goldsmith, and Death Cab For Cutie pianist Zac Rae, as well as guest vocals from Cassandra Jenkins and Eric D. Johnson of Fruit Bats and Bonny Light Horseman), Sheff took a less participatory and more painterly approach than his production on Okkervil River records. The result is a gorgeously orchestrated record that eschews pop orthodoxy in favor of letting its knotty narratives play out and allowing the musicians to explore the more daring passages just a little longer.
The album is already attracting praise from the likes of The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, NPR Music, Stereogum, Uncut, Brooklyn Vegan, and many more. See quotes below.
In a new profile at Stereogum, Sheff discusses the creation of Nothing Special, as well as his complicated career trajectory, and more. Read here.
Will Sheff has also announced national headlining tour dates in support of Nothing Special, including a special Los Angeles release show tonight at the Masonic Lodge @ Hollywood Forever. See full dates below.
Praise For Nothing Special
“Harnesses both the glow of poetry and the gravity of hymns.” — The New York Times
“A great place to jump into the lush and brainy folk rock he’s been perfecting for years.” — Vanity Fair
“Wonderful.” — NPR Music
“Nothing Special has a way of reminding you of Okkervil River at their best…a necessary, narrative jolt for an artist who’d largely been taken for granted over the past decade.” — Stereogum
“Superb…Beautiful, Lambchop-ish ballads which, while lengthy, never outstay their welcome.” — Uncut
Tour Dates 10/07 — Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge @ Hollywood Forever 11/03 — Iowa City, IA @ Englert Theatre 11/04 — Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center 11/05 — Chicago, IL @ Old Town School of Folk Music 11/06 — Milwaukee, WI @ Collectivo 11/08 — Bloomington, IN @ Buskirk-Chumley Theater 11/09 — Grand Rapids @ Pyramid Scheme 11/10 — Toronto, ON @ Great Hall 11/11 — Ferndale, MI @ Otus Supply 11/13 — Atlanta, GA @ The Earl 11/14 — Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle 11/15 — Washington DC @ Black Cat 11/17 — Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live 11/18 — New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge 11/19 — Woodstock, NY @ Colony 11/20 — Somerville, MA @ Crystal Ballroom 11/21 — Portland, ME @ SPACE 1/18 — Vancouver, BC @ Wise Hall 1/19 — Seattle, WA @ Madame Lou’s 1/20 — Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios 1/21 — Arcata, CA @ Arcata Theatre Lounge 1/22 — San Francisco, CA @ The Independent 1/25 — San Diego, CA @ Casbah 1/26 — Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar 1/27 — Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole 1/28 — Sante Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf 1/29 — Boulder, CO @ eTown Hall 1/31 — Denver, CO @ Bluebird 2/1 — Ft Collins, CO @ Bohemian (The Armory) 2/3 — Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge 2/4 — Flagstaff, AZ @ Yucca North 3/2 — Liverpool, UK @ Futureyard 3/3 — Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute 3/4 — Glasgow, UK @ Stereo 3/5 — Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club 3/7 — Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade 3/8 — London, UK @ Omeara 3/10 — Brussels, BE @ Botanique Rotonde 3/11 — Paris, FR @ La Boule Noire 3/12 — Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso 3/14 — Hamburg, DE @ Molotow 3/15 — Berlin, DE @ Urban Spree 3/16 — Copenhagen, DK @ Loppen