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Booher With Okkervil River’s Will Sheff, ‘Pick Up the Robot (Put the Robot Down)': Exclusive Premiere

On March 10, Old Flame Records is releasing Funny Tears, the debut full-length from the Austin band Booher. Diffuser is proud to premiere the first single, “Pick Up the Robot (Put Down the Robot),” which features Okkervil River‘s Will Sheff on guest vocals.

The fanciful, dynamic tune is a rather perfect mix of dusky indie-folk and electropop. Brisk acoustic guitars do battle with burbling keyboard bloops, as Sheff and Booher frontman Mike Booher harmonize. The cumulative effect: “Pick Up the Robot (Put Down the Robot)” feels like a gloriously ramshackle, life-affirming jam session.

In a sense, you could say that this Sheff guest spot is Booher returning a favor: Back in 2008, Okkervil River wrote a song about being on the road with Booher’s former band, Zykos. The tune was called — you guessed it — “On Tour With Zykos.”

“Will Sheff and I always dug the way our voices blended together when we’d get to sing together a few times over the years,” Booher says. “He is a close friend, and we are always turning each other onto new and different music. It made natural sense to me to ask him to sing some songs on this new record, and I’m so happy that he obliged.”

Indeed, Sheff also sings on the record’s “Tuxedo Park,” which is a mellower, alt-country song with desolate pedal steel. The rest of Funny Tears is equally impressive, diversity-wise: The horn-peppered, psych-tinted “Polar Research” resembles the Dandy Warhols, while the forceful jangly “Ouroboros” is a dead ringer for Bright Eyes.

Besides Booher, the band includes bassist Jeremy Gomez (Mineral, The Gloria Record), drummer Cully Symington (Cursive, Afghan Whigs) and Mike St. Clair (White Denim, Polyphonic Spree). The latter handles horns, synth and strings.

Pre-order Funny Tears on CD or vinyl at Old Flame Records’ website.

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