Fr, 13. Apr 2012
We’re in an era in which minimalism and lower-than-low-tech have come in vogue. By contrast, Shearwater’s recordings the epic “Island Arc” trilogy of Palo Santo, Rook and The Golden Archipelago in particular have been expansive (some might say bombastic) in a fashion like none of their contemporaries. Meiburg presumably unfamiliar with the adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” has opted to ditch an approach that paid huge artistic dividends over his last three Matador albums for a record that seems shockingly direct, immediate and intensely personal. He’s no stranger to lush, crafted recordings, but this one sounds like no prior Shearwater incarnation. And please, don’t mistake that for a suggestion this is anyone’s notion of a traditional, singer-songwriter album. “Immaculate” and “Breaking the Yearlings” are inventive and confident in a manner that would humble most new artists, let alone Shearwater’s few veteran peers. “Insolence” is (take your pick) an unsparing bit of self-reflection or an evisceration of someone else; either way, the song covers a staggering amount of sonic territory in the space of six minutes plus. No disrespect whatsoever is intended to Meiburg’s sometimes-Austin neighbors Spoon when I call “Believing Makes It Easy” a song that would rank amongst that band’s finest had they come up with it instead.