Okkervil River – Call Yourself Renee (Music Video)

by Steven Spoerl


Monday issued a series of notable streams from acts as varied as The Men, Very Fresh, Dark Blue, Lou Barlow, Lindsey Mills, Cave People, Fruit & Flowers, Beautiful Dudes, and Squirrel Flower. Additionally, there was a small list of impressive music videos that came courtesy of Slow Pulp, The Blow, Moby & The Void Pacific Choir, Louise Burns, and Black Kids. Finally, some exceptional full streams that arrived via Joyride!, Hillary Susz, Title Tracks, and Sun Angle rounded out the day in memorable fashion. Okkervil River found themselves snagging the feature spot on the back of yet another impressive music video from Away.

Following in the visually arresting footsteps of its Away counterparts, “Call Yourself Renee” sees the band delivering their most vivid — and undeniably modern — presentation to date. Centering around two protagonists, the Bret Curry-directed (and shot) clip opts out of a literal interpretation of the lyrics and presents a slice-of-life look at the characters. It’s a decision that pays massive dividends, imbuing “Call Yourself Renee” with a subdued sense of mystery, which keeps the viewer guessing at the clip’s final destination.

Only Away, the band’s most gentle work, doesn’t deal in tidy resolutions and understands that the journey can be far more important. “Call Yourself Renee” holds true to this belief, letting its characters find a way to an ambiguous, open-ended exit point. While the two principle actors — Tyler Bates and Joy Curry — give committed performances that are difficult to shake, the band does manage to make a few appearances, grounding “Call Yourself Renee” with a sense of place that tethers everything together.

By the calmly assured ending, the clip’s firmly established a spell of its own, creating a realistic world that’s practically impossible to want to leave. Even with the visual asides that find Bates and Curry posturing for the camera, there’s a soft empathy that slowly drives “Call Yourself Renee” towards an unassuming transcendence. It’s a remarkably tender clip and a comprehensive visual realization of Away, serving as a perfect complement to the band’s most relaxed tendencies. There’s genuine moments of humanism, beauty, and confidence in every frame, leaving “Call Yourself Renee” as one of the most unexpectedly mesmerizing clips of the year.

Watch “Call Yourself Renee” below and pick up Away here.