Prolific indie-folkies Okkervil River have shared a video for “Judey on a Street,” a track from their recently released eighth studio album, Away. It features actor Steven Ogg wandering through a forest, happening upon a tranquil nude couple resting in a leafy clearing, and traveling deeper and deeper until finding a busy highway. The song slowly builds in intensity with fluttering strings and pattering piano-playing.
In an interview with Salon, frontman Will Sheff shared some insight into the making of Away. Sheff disbanded and then re-grouped Okkervil River with entirely new members for the new record, and describes the process as something akin to rebirth:
There’s that Dylan quote I’ve always loved: “He who isn’t busy being born is busy dying.” I think that the last five, six years of my life I wasn’t sufficiently being born. So by definition, there’s a part of me that was dying. “Away” is the process of that person dying — a funeral mass for that person.
And the good thing about death is that it’s so linked to life; it’s the thing that needs to happen or there isn’t life. So I feel more alive than I have for a decade.
It’s not hard at all; it’s interesting. There’s a whole new group of people and a certain rebuilding of infrastructure that has to happen. As far as hard, it may be harder on the audience. They might want me to get up there and honor their memories of hearing “Black Sheep Boy” in college. But I want to be an artist — not necessarily a fan-service bot.
He also talked about his experience working with music video director Gabrielle Demeestere:
Gabrielle, the director, did a really wonderful job. This video has a lot of her own involvement. We talked a lot but not about the technical elements of it. We talked about spiritual ideas and our deep feelings about things, and she came up with this simple parable. It was cool to work with somebody and hand so much of the reins over to her. I think it’s really beautiful and fits the music really well.
Watch the video below.