New Okkervil River – “The President’s Dead”

If you have less than three minutes to explain why Lou Reed identified Okkervil River as a standout indie band while doing post-VMA press, save your breath and let Will Sheff make his case with this new track, culled from the band’s Australia-only tour EP Overboard & Down. (Thanks, Kathryn!)

Okkervil River – “The President’s Dead” (MP3)

Will introduced the song to us at Castle Clinton a few months ago as a “bit of hypothetical fiction” (in other words, it ain’t wishful thinking). With movement from the sadness of tragedy (and the pedestal given its victims) to the vivid recall of the tiny, life-defining details such a moment enables, we get three shots, three snare pops, and a rollicking, Okkervil group groove.

But you’re wasting your breath, Lou. Lyrics that stand alone as poems have no place between The Hills and Pimp My Ride — even if they’re set to a four-chord strum.