A Retro Blast

21 Jun

As soon as I heard “Your Past Life as a Blast” by Okkervil River, I immediately recognized a retro element to it, though I couldn’t place what it was.

The tune which lasts around five minutes is an expertly crafted indie rock masterpiece, something that The Shins may have knocked out, but with more of a new wave 80s spin. The melody is simple enough and repeats on a loop throughout most of the song. If you’re looking for a chorus, you may have to read the actual lyrics to find some symmetry, because for the most part “Your Past Life as a Blast” sounds musically the same. In fact it isn’t until almost the four minute mark that there is a noticeable change in sound which peps up the song until the end where a repeating refrain plays until fade out.

But we still haven’t quite nailed what makes this song such a throwback. To do that we have to travel back to 1966 and Bob Lind’s hit “Elusive Butterfly” Though this track is more standard in its pop structure, the way it flows is similar to that of “Your Past Life as a Blast.” There is also something to be said of both vocal pairs that weave in and out of the story with ease and gentleness.

Of course”Elusive Butterfuly” is musically a peppier song, but it is no surprise that after racking my brain for a good day or two this was the tune that reminded me of “Your Past Life as a Blast”


  • 2002 Don’t Fall In Love With Everyone You See
  • 2003 Down the River of Golden Dreams
  • 2005 Black Sheep Boy
  • 2007 The Stage Names
  • 2008 The Stand-Ins
  • 2011 I am Very Far
  • 2013 The Silver Gymnasium

Official Website: http://www.okkervilriver.com


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