The Golden Archipelago by Shearwater on Apple Music

12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

The idea of island life has its everlasting appeal; the quiet isolation from the frantic continental world slows to a meditative crawl. Shearwater began hinting at this slow-moving ethereal grind several albums ago and 2010’s The Golden Archipelago serves as the final act of a trilogy begun with 2006’s Palo Santo and further explored with 2008’s Rook that brings that concept of island inhabitation to musical fruition. “Meridian” begins things with the solemn pulse of Peter Gabriel’s most pastoral work. “Black Eyes” sends Jonathan Meiburg’s atmospheric vocals (think Mark Hollis in latter-day Talk Talk) into the lonely atmosphere. “Landscape At Speed” furthers that feeling of the human spirit hurdling towards an endless horizon as its piano chords hit the waves of rhythm and feedback. While the sound is heavily reliant on thick reverbs and electronically manipulated sounds, the overall vibe is a bucolic one where technology has yet to interrupt the day-to-day ramblings. This odd paradox doesn’t stop tunes such as “Hidden Lakes”, “Castaways”, “Runners of the Sun” and “Uniforms” from effectively rendering the feeling of tribal urgency (“Corridors”) and remote slumber.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The idea of island life has its everlasting appeal; the quiet isolation from the frantic continental world slows to a meditative crawl. Shearwater began hinting at this slow-moving ethereal grind several albums ago and 2010’s The Golden Archipelago serves as the final act of a trilogy begun with 2006’s Palo Santo and further explored with 2008’s Rook that brings that concept of island inhabitation to musical fruition. “Meridian” begins things with the solemn pulse of Peter Gabriel’s most pastoral work. “Black Eyes” sends Jonathan Meiburg’s atmospheric vocals (think Mark Hollis in latter-day Talk Talk) into the lonely atmosphere. “Landscape At Speed” furthers that feeling of the human spirit hurdling towards an endless horizon as its piano chords hit the waves of rhythm and feedback. While the sound is heavily reliant on thick reverbs and electronically manipulated sounds, the overall vibe is a bucolic one where technology has yet to interrupt the day-to-day ramblings. This odd paradox doesn’t stop tunes such as “Hidden Lakes”, “Castaways”, “Runners of the Sun” and “Uniforms” from effectively rendering the feeling of tribal urgency (“Corridors”) and remote slumber.

TITLE TIME
3:37
3:40
4:33
3:47
2:46
4:22
2:53
3:16
3:09
3:49
2:18
3:59

About Shearwater

Originally conceived as a one-off collaboration between Okkervil River's Will Sheff and Kingfisher's Jonathan Meiburg, Shearwater continues the tradition of detailed, reflective songwriting set by classic artists like Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen and contemporary indie rock songwriters such as Bill Callahan and Will Oldham. The group began after Sheff and Meiburg had known each other for just a week, with the idea that the duo wanted to make an album called The Dissolving Room. The pair exchanged songwriting ideas through e-mail and were so pleased with the results that they decided to make their project into a permanent touring affair along with making bass player Kim Burke an official member. The Dissolving Room was released in early 2001 by the Grey Flat imprint. The following year, Shearwater released another album, Everybody Makes Mistakes, and their third album, Winged Life, followed in 2004. Meiburg's influence over the direction of the band steadily increased over the years, and this trend continued on the band's fourth release, 2006's Palo Santo. The band moved from Misra to Matador that year, making way for the release of an expanded edition of Palo Santo in 2007. The powerful and streamlined Rook arrived in 2008, followed by the dreamy Golden Archipelago in 2010. Shearwater joined the Sub Pop roster for the album Animal Joy, released in February 2012, a more direct, immediate offering featuring guest musicians such as Andy Stack (Wye Oak) and Scott Brackett (Murder by Death). Fellow Travelers, a collection of ten covers of songs from bands that Shearwater has shared the stage with, including Folk Implosion, Xiu Xiu, and Coldplay, arrived the following year. In early 2016 the band dropped the ambitious Jet Plane and Oxbow, their third outing for Sub Pop. ~ Heather Phares

  • ORIGIN
    Austin, TX
  • FORMED
    2000

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