Will Sheff–known for his work with his acclaimed indie rock project Okkervil River–has shared “In The Thick Of It,” the latest track from his debut solo release Nothing Special out October 7 via ATO Records.
Says Sheff regarding the track: “‘In the Thick of It’ is a song about moments of grace right in the frenetic middle of things. I wrote it remotely with Will Graefe in a frantic flight out of L.A. to the desert. Zac Rae leads the charge on piano and I asked Cassandra Jenkins to sing the song along with me. I had this big music video planned, but then everybody who was supposed to make the video got COVID. So I borrowed a camera and sang the song while walking my dog Larry through some of our favorite spots in the city. We had a great time and we only spent 200 dollars.”
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 operating on an idiosyncratic yet intuitive internal logic.
The album is already attracting praise, with The New York Times saying it, “harnesses both the glow of poetry and the gravity of hymns,” while Vanity Fair deems it, “a great place to jump into the lush and brainy folk rock he’s been perfecting for years.”
Stereogum describes lead single “Estrangement Zone” as, “an anxious parable about society’s decline that somehow manages to sound futuristic and ramshackle all at once,” and Brooklyn Vegan calls the title track, “a delicate, pretty, melancholic waltz.”
In a new profile at Vanity Fair, Sheff delves deep into the personal circumstances that informed the creation of Nothing Special, what prompted him to put a record out under his own name, and his mental reframing of what rock and roll is.
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