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Palo Santo (Expanded Edition)

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iTunes Review

Initially a side-project for Kingfisher’s Jonathan Meiburg and Okkervill River’s Will Sheff, Austin, Texas’ Shearwater has blossomed into a strong, definitive artistic endeavor all its own. The “group”’s fourth album, sans Sheff, has been expanded into a sprawling 19-track set that provides a rollercoaster ride of thrills, dynamics and alternate takes. Now Meiburg’s baby, he wrote 18 of the tracks (Skip James’ “Special Rider Blues” is the lone non-original), Palo Santo is an art-rock tour de force. “La Dame Et La Licorne” begins things in a soothing buzz of ambient texture and swooning emotional outbursts reminiscent of the desolate, latter works of Talk Talk, while other tracks surf the margins of alt.rock history, eliciting comparisons to John Cale, Jeff Buckley, Palace and Red House Painters in their austere sorrow. The title track highlights Meiburg’s fragile vocal style that threatens to close in on itself as the textures gently transform like shapes in a lava lamp. Even his raised voice (“Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five”) exposes a vulnerable nerve that sounds as if a nervous breakdown, his 19th or not, is coming up just over the bridge.

Customer Reviews


Wonderful instruments, loud and soft vocals, a hint of Sigur Ros-esque creativity... a beautiful album

A pretty sound

The guys voice on here is very cool. An eerie emotional sound. The expandedness of it is neat too.


BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT !!! For all those who like intense and melancolic alt rock, from Arcade Fire to Radiohead including Love, here is a masterpiece. One of the most beautiful albums ever. I cannot get bored of it. Melodies are sublime, the voice is haunting, arrangements are light and right... they're never as good as when they play their emotion-filled poppy songs such as Johnny Viola or Seventy fou Seventy Five. BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT !!!


Formed: 2000 in Austin, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

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...
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