One of the most original and acclaimed bands of recent years, Shearwater, have recently entered into a recording agreement with Sub Pop Records of Seattle, WA.This is news worth sharing.
While they’re not saying much about the record yet, singer Jonathan Meiburg suggests that it’s going to be quite different from the band’s past releases. “We’re having trouble taming this one,” he says, “but luckily, we don’t really want to.” Expect a new album from the band in early 2012. The band signaled a change in direction from their most recent releases, the trilogy of mysterious, thematically-linked albums they’re now calling The Island Arc (The Golden Archipelago from 2010, the 2008 release Rook, and 2006’s Palo Santo) with a final, sold-out, three-hour epic performance in their hometown of Austin earlier this year. A set of recordings from that show are now available on the Shearwater bandcamp page.
Drummer Thor Harris, in the meantime, has been busy smashing tubular bells with hammers in Michael Gira’s reformed Swans, and is set to release a new instrumental album and book of drawings, A Post-Apocalyptic Tale of Friendship, through Austin’s Monofonus Press. And bassist Kimberly Burke’s new play, “Miss Tibet,” will have a reading at Playwrights Foundation in San Francisco on May 16 & 17.
Meiburg’s been active, too—besides the loved/loathed Blue Water White Death collaboration with Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart late last year, he played keyboards on Bill Callahan’s new Apocalypse, added guest vocals to Okkervil River’s upcoming I Am Very Far, and performed two new, long, iridescent songs, “Hymn to the Valences” and “The Moth and the Milky Way” at the Whitney Museum of American Art with Andy Stack of Wye Oak. Studio recordings of these songs, inspired by the psychedelic natural scenes of painter Charles Burchfield, are available on Shearwater’s bandcamp this week (and, next year, on vinyl as part of Graveface Records’ subscription-only singles collection).