Picking up where The Stage Names left off, this wonderfully seals Okkervil River’s double album effort. The Stand-Ins has emotion and front-porch charm highly similar to its predecessor. As far as a complement album, it comfortably fills the other leg of the torn, dusty jeans.
Complicated short stories once again get mixed with acoustic-driven ballads – from the triumphant to the melancholy. The ’60s pop vibe of “Lost Coastlines” sets the album into motion after a short intro. Throwback country-western sounds cruise alongside 70’s lounge and modern alternative vibes in a variety of ranges while Will Sheff’s signature delivery empowers each of them. “Singer Songwriter” and “Calling And Not Calling My Ex” give other songs jamboree envy while the crawling epic “Blue Tulip” has more heart-per-beat than anything on either album. Having a variety of speeds while keeping a consistently high intensity is what Okkervil River does best.
More hyper-folk goodness spreading throughout The Stand-Ins gives it the loveability that The Stage Names had, while newer melodic angles give it a different shine. It’s at times, fun, harsh, relaxed, and sad, but that’s what gives a fresh backdrop to each detail that Sheff sings and makes them all worth a listen.