Shearwater for a Rainy Saturday

Jeff VanderMeer • May 16th, 2009 @ 11:30 am • Music Reviews

Fast becoming one of my favorite bands. Okkervil’s good and all, but at their best, Shearwater’s visionary qualities transport.

11 Responses to “Shearwater for a Rainy Saturday”

  1. Chris Robbins says:

    Thanks for turning me on to them. Very cool!

  2. Alex D M says:

    I saw them live at the end of last week. Some of their songs are fabulous, and they can play a wonderful range of instruments.

    More bands should do xylophone duets.

    Have you heard of Beirut? They remind me of DeVotchKa in some ways, though they’ve certainly got their own flavour.

  3. Eddie Clark says:

    Shearwater is awesome, Rook was one of my favourite albums of last year.

    But I think OR is better live. Saying that, there’s almost nothing that can beat Okkervil River live. I saw them this week, and its one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. They do miss Meiburg’s backing vocals though, and Lost Coastlines just doesn’t sound the same without him.

  4. spencer says:

    I love Shearwater (and Okkervil River). You should definitely check out Talk Talk’s last two albums, Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock. Talk Talk basically invented postrock with those albums, and of all subsequent bands Shearwater comes closest to capturing their beautiful and visionary sound. There’s also a nice live cover of a Talk Talk song, “The Rainbow,” on one of Shearwater’s EPs or singles.

    Beirut’s great too…

  5. James says:

    Shearwater’s new to me, and so far so good.

    I’ll echo the Beirut recommendation, and throw in a mention of Hey Marseilles. I don’t know if the linked video does them justice, but their lone CD is marvelous.

  6. Hellbound Heart says:


  7. Matt Cheney says:

    Folks new to Shearwater should check out their Daytrotter Sessions visit — free download:

    The version of “Nobody” there is one of my all-time favorites. Rook is definitely magnificent.

  8. Grant Stone says:

    Hadn’t heard them before, but I’m impressed. And I’ve got some emusic downloads still left this month, so I’m getting Rook right now.

  9. Matt Peckham says:

    Just saw Shearwater live with Beirut in London slightly over a week ago. Jonathan Meiburg comes beautifully undone when he sings. From the opening of Palo Santo’s Hail Mary, with that trembling falsetto to something almost feral in his features when he leads off “We lay like a wounded lamb…” An incredible show, all around.

  10. Grant Stone says:

    Rook was so good I went back and got one of their emusic live exclusives as well.
    Spencer’s right, there’s a real Talk Talk feel about Shearwater.

  11. Jeff VanderMeer says:

    Talk Talk is really really *produced*, though. Shearwater might have some affinities to them, but they’re a lot more ragged–in a good way.

    Grant–glad you liked it! I listen to Rook all the time while writing.


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