Okkervil River members Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff began Shearwater as a channel for some more subdued songs they were working on together. Meiburg, whose master’s thesis at the UT geography department was on a subspecies of falcons common to the Falkland Islands, took the name from a class of migratory seabirds. Beyond his interest in ornithology, Meiberg’s prolific creative output includes writing (he’s a contributor to the literary magazine The Believer), and releasing Shearwater’s ninth(!) studio album.
Jet Plane and Oxbow, which was released on Sub Pop last month, has a particularly early 80s sound to it. Think Scary Monsters era David Bowie meets early Peter Gabriel. The new album receives an extra boon from film composer and percussionist Brian Reitzell, whose work includes the soundtracks for several Sofia Copolla films like The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation. Jonathan Meiburg with Emily Lee on keys, Sadie Powers on bass, Josh Halpern on drums, and Lucas Oswald on guitar came into Studio 1A today. Check out their set here, or see them live tonight at The North Door.
You can also check out their last Studio 1A here, and some of the work of previous and related Shearwater members.