This is my favorite song of the last four months. “Down Down The Deep River” by Okkervil River. I heard it for the first time live on Conan in late October, and its sound is now totally linked to my trip to Los Angeles in November. I think of my musical tastes as pretty broad, spanning from classical to indie folk to video game soundtracks. A good chunk of what I listen to I consider somewhat musically complex; for example, the awesome unusual chord changes in a song like “The Daily Mail” by Radiohead make my neck hairs stand on end.
However, this song has barely left my head since I first heard it and it’s remarkably simple. It features only three chords (E, B, F♯) during the whole thing, chugging along with half-spoken lyrics and a steady rock beat. It’s also entirely in a major key. While I certainly enjoy a bit of tension and conflict in my minor key music, the uplifting quality of melody here is hard to deny, even in the face of less cheerful lyrics. Despite a run-time of over six minutes, I’ve on more than one occasion let it go on and on, on repeat.
Perhaps the titular “deep river” represents the scary future (which was a little bit more relevant before February), or maybe the vibrations are just pleasant to my ears. I don’t know. I just feel like sharing.