Okkervil River - Mermaid

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"Mermaid" is the darkest song you'll hear all year: A self-contained fable shot through with evocative and disturbing imagery but rising to a sweeping, romantic, oddly moving climax. This waltz-time ballad gestures towards the tattered folk of Okkervil River's beloved 2005 album Black Sheep Boy, but somehow unearths something much more mysterious and blurrily ambiguous. With "Walked Out on a Line" we get a glimpse of what might further emerge. Choral and atmospheric and stripped of any of the acoustic textures that have defined much of the band's past work.