Down The Deep River

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.


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