January 31, 2006 | Posted by mark at 01:11 PM

And I'll Sail My House

Okkervil River 1. Okkervil River - For Real.
2. Monkey Swallows the Universe - Sheffield Shanty.

When I'm testing out songs that I want to post to the site, I often put them all on a mix and listen to it in my car for a few days to see which ones stick. Some songs come through and I instantly know that I want to post them, but others grow on me after a few listens, so I like to give them the opportunity to do so. Often I'll throw some old classics on there too, just to break things up. On my latest version, these two songs were placed in order, about half-way through the mix. I think they make a great pair, as the choppy, glowing feedback of For Real bleeds gently into the quiet plucked guitar of Sheffield Shanty.

On its' own, For Real is a monster. The quiet parts are effortless and the loud parts are really fucking loud, and it really highlights some solid songwriting. I love the production, the echo in his voice, the thin guitar solo, the quiet mellotron in the back. It's a great, thick song and I could listen to it over and over and over again.

The Sheffield Shanty is another favorite of mine. If I were to compare it to anything else it might be the Trashcan Sinatras, despite the female lead singer. I think it's just beautiful, and love the idea of the flooded British countryside and sailing on houses. I also love the way she sings these weird-sounding British towns that I've never heard of. It's cute. And let's overlook that dreadful band name, shall we?

At any rate, I think these songs compliment each other well, and I recommend both of them highly. You can purchase the Okkervil River album Black Sheep Boy from our friends at Insound. You can preorder the Monkey Swallows the Universe album direct from their label, Thee Sheffield Phonographic Corporation. Both are highly recommended.

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In other news, robot-favorite Munk is guest-blogging over at the amazing Bumrocks all week. Definitely worth checking out.
Comments

Okkervil River is the real deal. I am not into much indie these days but this stuff is great. Nice breakdown of a great song mark. Thanks.

Posted by: K at January 31, 2006 03:52 PM

I wanted to express my love of your awesome blog. I visit other blogs, but none are as solid as Music for Robots. My iPod has a surprising amount of songs from this website. I know it's a matter of personal taste that I happen to love the songs that you guys post, but I still hold that you're the best. Also, Okkervil River's "Black" is available on their website and it's really good.

Posted by: Kari at January 31, 2006 07:48 PM

Love Sheffield Shanty. Great blog. You wouldnt have heard of the British towns as they are all suburbs of Sheffield - great city in Yorkshire. Sorry if wrecks the country idyll.

Posted by: Brian at February 1, 2006 04:47 PM

It's about time someone posted an Okkervil River song. Jesus, I've been waiting for a year.

Posted by: Mel at February 2, 2006 02:15 PM

I've listened to "Sheffield Shanty" a couple of times, and i like it so much! The link to their label won't work, so i can't pre-order their album. boo! i want more!

Posted by: Camela at February 2, 2006 07:17 PM

camela,

I fixed the link!

Posted by: robot mark at February 2, 2006 10:21 PM
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