Tag Archives: Shearwater

Photos: Sharon Van Etten & Shearwater @ The Wex

Sharon Van Etten & Shearwater
Wexner Center for the Arts
February 14, 2012

Sharon Van Etten
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Shearwater
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MP3: Shearwater – “Breaking the Yearlings”

When I spoke to Shearwater‘s Jonathan Meiburg last fall, he already had a title and vibe in mind for the follow-up to the Palo SantoRookGolden Archipelago triptych. Meiburg explained it this way:

I’m gonna try to make the next one pretty different from these last three. I think I want it to be a lot more ecstatic and emotionally immediate. Less of the green floating head and more of the man-behind-the-curtain thing. I have a tendency to write songs that seem a little bit disembodied, or where my voice is kind of disembodied, and I wanna have a body on this next record. I feel like I’ve gone about as far as I wanna go in that direction. I wanna make something that’s earthier and tougher.

On “Breaking the Yearlings,” from the forthcoming Animal Joy (Shearwater’s first for Sub Pop), the band stuck to that vision. Meiburg will always have somewhat of a floating quality to his voice, but he’s more visceral here, and the band sounds more like a rock band than an eerie symphony in the clouds. (The album press release even makes it clear that “No strings or glockenspiels were touched during the making of this album”). For those who prefer Shearwater’s more propulsive tunes (“Rooks,” “Black Eyes”), you’re gonna love this. I like both sides of Meiburg, and I’ve had this on repeat today.

Animal Joy comes out Feb. 14, the same day Shearwater and Sharon Van Etten play the Wexner Center. Bring yer sweetheart.

Joel Oliphint’s Favorite Albums of 2010

If 2009 was the year of Larry Jon Wilson, 2010 was the year of Bill Fox and the Gibson Bros. I think I listened to Bill Fox’s two reissued albums — Shelter from the Smoke and Transit Byzantium — more than anything else. (Shelter got a deluxe vinyl reissue, and Scat promises a similar treatment for Transit in 2011.) Go get ‘em. And working on a story about the Gibson Bros. reunion show back in July occupied my brainspace and held my interest for months. I don’t know if CDR has any copies of the Build a Raft reissue left, but if they do, it’s required listening for any Columbus music fan or anyone with a passing interest in twisted, noisy country/blues/rock.

But in terms of new stuff, here’s what I liked this year, starting with national releases and ending with Cowtown LPs.


1. Strand of Oaks – Pope Killdragon
I didn’t immediately hit repeat when I heard this album, but once I came back to it, I never stopped. Who knew a record with songs about John Belushi (from the perspective of Dan Akroyd), a 12-foot man and JFK could be so engrossing. Devastating, too. If you think Tim Showalter is just another pretty-voiced folkie, the layers of synth and Sabbath-like riffs on “Giant’s Despair” prove otherwise. The best way to get Killdragon digitally or on vinyl is through Strand of Oaks’ Kickstarter page.


2. The Black Keys – Brothers
Ditto Duffy.
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MP3: Shearwater – Castaways

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MP3: Shearwater – Castaways

Can’t wait for the new Shearwater album, due Feb. 23 on Matador. Rook was one of my favorites of ’08.