Yesterday I took a break from listening to Shearwater, Jonathan Meiburg’s band. But otherwise, I’ve been pretty much obsessed with their two latest studio albums, “Animal Joy” from 2012 and “Jet Plane and Oxbow” from 2016. One or the other song from either album seems to be stuck in my head, constantly.
I only discovered them recently though, through Jonathan’s appearance in Loma (another great album). And I found Loma through KEXP and their “Music That Matters” podcast, where they had “Black Willow” in the mix. 🙂
Shearwater’s earlier work (I listened to “Rook” from 2008 too) lacks some of the drama, power and energy – at least for me. “Animal Joy” and “Jet Plane and Oxbow” also feel more natural, flowing, effortless. The band sounds mature, content, and in control there.
Meiburg’s voice is beautiful and expressive, full of power and muscle, but also gentle. His lyrics are poetic and not easily accessible – I like lyrics that aren’t “easy”, leave room for interpretation, or let me take a snippet or piece that applies to me.*
What I find interesting is that both albums have a very “vinyl” feeling arrangement of songs where there’s a clear distinction between the A-side and the B-side of the record. If you stream both albums you’ll easily be able to hear it.
If I had to pick just one song that best represents what I love about Shearwater, it’s “Insolence” from the “Animal Joy” album. Let it play all the way to the end and don’t judge it too soon – the song has a fantastic progression:
If you like what you hear, give “Prime” a play next, and dive further in from there. You won’t regret it.
*) if anyone can give me a hint what “Long Time Away” is about, leave a comment – oh and yes, I can actually hold that second, long “tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime” when I sing along but I need to concentrate to get the breathing right. 😉