Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Shearwater started as an Okkervil River side-project and grew into a beast of its own. They play an 8:30 show this Wednesday May 7th at the Iron Horse

Hauntingly intense band Shearwater originally started as a side project by Okkervil River members Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff as an outlet for quieter songs they were working on. Due to the addition of several other musicians, plus tour dates with bands like the Mountain Goats and Blonde Redhead, Shearwater transformed from a casual group to a tightly focused rock band. Album after album, the band increasingly finds more of its identity and Meiburg’s elegant melodies and striking voice move more toward the center. Their lush arrangements draw comparisons to singers like Antony and the Johnsons and Tim Buckley, among others.

Fast forward six years and a few albums later, and you have the record Palo Santo, and a band which has transformed itself almost to the point of reinvention. The album, sung and written entirely by Meiburg, is loosely based on the singer Nico’s life. NPR named it the best album of 2006 and the New York Times describe the songs as “flickering and hummable” and as telling a “desperate but not quite decipherable story.” Shearwater’s newest album, Rook, is due out in June. Each song is a mini-epic, and the band’s taste for unusual instruments is present – a harp, a hammer dulcimer and an oddly shaped metal box all make appearances. The band oddly, yet somehow aptly, describes their new album as evoking a “vanishing world which may or may not be our own

Singer Jennifer O’Connor brings what the New York Times calls her “tidy and infectious songs” to open for Shearwater. Tickets Here

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