Monday, 26 May 2008

Shearwater - Rook

Shearwater were considered sort of an Okkervil River side project, as the band contained both Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff. I say were, as although the two bands still have much in common, Meiburg has pulled out from Okkervils' touring commitments to work on Shearwater full time. And their sounds are very different. Okkervil, while having the odd sad moment, rock much harder. Shearwater, while occasionally rocking hard (with massive open chords annihilating all that stand in their way), are quieter, heartbreaking pastoral sadcore.

This separation is already to the benefit both bands. Okkervil have amped up their already righteous show by adding Wrens guitarist Charles Bissell (who has fitted in perfectly to their live sound, adding signature touches on guitar and slightly more sympathetic backing vocals). Shearwater are going to be able to up the number of shows they play, and that's a very good thing. Their new album, Rook, is the best album I've listened to over the last couple of months. They'll get a lot of Talk Talk references (Meiburg's voice is key to that), but they're different from Talk Talk, in that they somehow sound more genuine. Listen to the mesmeric vocals on Rook's opening track 'On the Death of the Waters' and hear the difference.

Rook is available from your record shop on the 2nd of June, and Shearwater are playing the Four Points of the Compass festival with David Thomas Broughton + Revere @ Bush Hall in on the 17th of July. It's an £8 ticket. Get in!

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