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Animal Joy (Bonus Track Version)

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Editors’ Notes

Nothing in the Shearwater catalog prepares one for the sonic assault of Animal Joy. Where past albums often sounded like a soundtrack for sunlight resting on water, Animal Joy plays like the soundtrack to a desperate car chase in a grisly action picture. "Breaking the Yearlings" jacks up the percussive attack. "Dread Sovereign" highlights Jonathan Meiburg's sweet falsetto, which is reminiscent of Talk Talk's Mark Hollis. The keyboard washes of "You as You Were" build a compact symphony, with a melody casting a sense of melancholia over its ebullient rhythms. "Insolence" slows things to a spooky latter-day Scott Walker avant-garde piece that spirals to great heights over six and a half minutes. The production throughout is dense and mysterious, packed with odd sonic details that mesh into a wall of overwhelming sound. "Immaculate" proves that the band can rock out when the opportunity knocks hard. The atmospheres dominating "Run the Banner Down," "Believing Makes It Easy," and "Star of the Age" make for a rich headphone experience.

Customer Reviews


When I listen to "Animal Life", the word, majestic, comes to mind.

I love this!

I just discovered Shearwater literally ten minutes ago and I'm already in love. This is so great. <3


I enjoy all of Shearwater's albums and this one takes the cake. Brilliantly executed from start to finish, this album is a must have for fans of the band or for those just discovering their music. "You as You Were" and "Star of the Age" stand out as my two favorites, although there is not one song on here that doesn't make its impression. The album carries an other-worldly intoxicating quality, mythical and yet real, something to play while laying in your bed letting your imagination travel along and also something to swing your arms around and dance to. Don't hesitate to get this staple in music!


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...
Full Bio