Tag Archives: Shearwater

Shearwater: Animal Joy

Shearwater -  Animal Joy

Shearwater
Animal Joy

February 14, 2012
Sub Pop

“Animal Joy surfs similar channels to their last release, The Golden Archipelago, evoking stratospheric textures anchored down by melodically well-honed tunes.”Mojo

“Dense, powerful, wild, yet immaculately rendered, Animal Joy blends the expansive, cinematic scope of contemporaries like Other Lives and the National with the arty drama of “San Jacinto”-era Peter Gabriel.”All Music Guide

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

It’s been suggested—by fans, detractors, even by the band’s founder—that Shearwater and whatever we call underground/indie/whatever-rock in this part of the century are not an obvious fit. And that’s true. So much of what we hear these days (the lousy stuff, anyway) is willfully insular; Jonathan Meiburg’s songs, by contrast, have constantly tackled bigger questions and been propelled by massive musical ambitions.

We’re in an era in which minimalism and lower-than-low-tech have come in vogue. By contrast, Shearwater’s recordings—the epic “Island Arc” trilogy of Palo Santo, Rook and The Golden Archipelago in particular—have been expansive  (some might say bombastic) in a fashion like none of their contemporaries.  Meiburg—presumably unfamiliar with the adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t  fix it”—has opted to ditch an approach that paid huge artistic dividends over his last three Matador albums for a record that seems shockingly direct, immediate and intensely personal. He’s no stranger to lush, crafted recordings, but this one sounds like no prior Shearwater incarnation. And please, don’t mistake that for a suggestion this is anyone’s notion of a traditional, singer-songwriter album.  ”Immaculate” and “Breaking the Yearlings” are inventive and confident in a manner that would humble most new artists, let alone Shearwater’s few veteran peers. “Insolence” is (take your pick) an unsparing bit of self-reflection or an evisceration of someone else; either way, the song covers a staggering amount of sonic territory in the space of six minutes plus. No disrespect whatsoever is intended to Meiburg’s sometimes-Austin neighbors Spoon when I call “Believing Makes It Easy” a song that would rank amongst that band’s finest had they come up with it instead.

Featuring Recent Posts WordPress Widget development by YD