Roky Erickson casts out all evil

ROKY ERICKSON with OKKERVIL RIVER - True Love Cast Out All Evil is released 7th June 2010 on Chemikal Underground.


From the press release:

Legendary musician Roky Erickson triumphantly returns with the release of True Love Cast Out All Evil, his first new album in fourteen years. Produced by Will Sheff, with his band Okkervil River providing the musical backing, the record is largely comprised of unreleased material penned by Austin, Texas, native Erickson throughout the course of his decades-long career; material that details, with heart-breaking candour, a harrowing life of electro-shock therapy, imprisonment, mental illness, and irreversible loss. Enduring these traumas has enabled Erickson to bring a unique, painfully-earned wisdom to his songwriting, infusing the album with themes of love, hope and spiritual grace.

While True Love Cast Out All Evil echoes the many musical styles in which Erickson has been a participant or a pioneer – including garage-rock, lo-fi psych, heavy metal, and country-tinged Texas folk – it also brings Erickson’s songwriting skills to the fore. In these songs, Erickson addresses his troubled history in his own words, eschewing the metaphors of earlier songs like “I Walked with a Zombie” to speak directly about hardship and the lessons learned from it. Will Sheff’s production highlights the songs while interweaving them with found-sound and archival recordings culled from Erickson’s home videos and recordings made in the Rusk State Hospital for the Criminally Insane.

“I feel truly lucky that I got to produce this record,” Sheff says. “When we started out, I was given sixty unreleased songs to choose from. There were songs written during business setbacks including the Elevators’ painful breakup, songs written by Roky while he was incarcerated at Rusk, and a great deal of songs that reminded me of the sense of optimism and romanticism that I think sustained Roky through his worst years and ultimately reunited him, a few years ago, with his son Jegar and his first wife Dana. Because we started with so many songs to choose from, the quality of the material we ended up with was exhilarating. This is not a cynical comeback record, a lukewarm update on an established legacy – these are the best songs Roky has ever written, unreleased due to decades plagued by the kind of personal tragedies that would destroy someone less resilient. This record has been the most challenging and rewarding, thing I’ve ever worked on, and we in Okkervil River were deeply honoured to show up decades later and help Roky carry these wonderful songs over the finish line.’

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