Lay of the Last Survivor

Album: I Am Very Far (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • Frontman Will Sheff told Spinner how this song pointed the way for Okkervil River's sixth album, I Am Very Far. He explained: "I had a dream one night when I dreamed up all this music and it was set to a film and I woke up and I thought, 'That's got to be the direction of the new record.' This image that I had in my head and the feeling of it, this certain emotion that was associated with it, and it came to me in a sentence what the record meant. I held on to that in my mind for a really long time."
  • Sheff recalled the recording of the song to Spin magazine: "This is a song we cut right after the huge-band sessions. Everyone was really tired and worn out, and we let all the extra players go and just stripped the band down to its smaller lineup and bashed up a small and kind of humble arrangement for this one. This song started out as a long, somewhat blustery narrative in waltz time, really slow and meandering. Just for fun I started cutting parts out of it and I found I still liked the song as much as before, so I started hacking it down pretty unsentimentally after I figured that out. I also decided to change the time signature of the song and put it into 4/4, to give it more of a groove."
  • The song features a woodwind section, which gives it a pastoral feel. Sheff told Spin magazine: "Woodwinds have always reminded me of those really morbidly sentimental '80s kids' cartoons with songs by America or Art Garfunkel - Watership Down: stuff like that. This sort of otherwordly, maudlin mixture of innocence and doom."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Songs in Famous Movie Scenes: Tarantino EditionMusic Quiz

Whether he's splitting ears or burning Nazis, Quentin Tarantino uses memorable music in his films. See if you can match the song to the scene.

Jello BiafraSongwriter Interviews

The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.

Adam Young of Owl CitySongwriter Interviews

Is Owl City on a quest for another hit like "Fireflies?" Adam answers that question and explains the influences behind many others.

Howard JonesSongwriter Interviews

Howard explains his positive songwriting method and how uplifting songs can carry a deeper message.

Concert DisastersFact or Fiction

Ozzy biting a dove? Alice Cooper causing mayhem with a chicken? Creed so bad they were sued? See if you can spot the real concert mishaps.

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.