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News of the next Shearwater album The Golden Archipelago got my attention the other day and I was immediately enchanted by sample track ‘Castaways’. I first came across these guys when I learned that Shearwater was founded by Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff of Okkervil River, as a way for them to create songs of a quieter nature than those of OR (Sheff has since left the band to concentrate his attentions on Okkervil River).

While I’m not familiar with all of Shearwater’s work, I do like what I have heard, especially ‘Room For Mistakes’ and ‘White Waves’ and ‘My Good Deed’, and it strikes me that ‘Castaways’ is a bit louder, more forceful. Keep in mind though that I say this without exploring their catalogue fully – I might not be quite on the right track here.

I’m very taken by this song and it’s strange, when I listen to it, I have this image in my head of a grey gull gliding over a stormy sea. It sounds a bit barmy I suppose, but the music seems to move in waves and you can hear it in the rise and fall of the vocals. I love the drums on this track too, slow and steady, like the rhythmic beating of wings or the constant pound of waves on the shore. And yes it is called ‘Castaways’, so perhaps vague nautical thoughts are bound to happen while listening to it, and yes the band is called Shearwater so perhaps the bird imagery is inevitable as well. Course, I could just be insane. Either way, it’s a lovely song and I look forward to hearing more when the album is released in February.

Castaways – Shearwater

Room for Mistakes – Shearwater

Head over to Shearwater’s website today to preorder the album and receive a 15% discount off the purchase price.