Very excited about Shearwater's Animal Joy, the 2012 album that I have listened to the most this year and which is so far unchallenged for the #1 spot. Also very excited about my interview with Jonathan Meiburg, which is running during release week at PopMatters. Yay!
Animal Spirits: an Interview with Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg
By Jennifer Kelly
“By the end of The Golden Archipelago, I felt like I’d become the great green floating head of Oz in the sea. Even the art of the last album shows a figure looking off into the distance, and, to me, that’s what the record sounds like,” says Jonathan Meiburg, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has, for more than a decade, headed Shearwater. “For this record, I wanted to make something that was much more immediate, much more upfront, and also much more personal.”
Meiburg began to feel the onset of a new phase during a January 2011 show in Austin, Texas when he and his band played all three of the linked “Island Arc” records in a row, first Palo Santo, then Rook, then The Golden Archipelago. “I had the feeling as we were playing that was moving through time,” he explains. “When we started the first album, I felt like I was back in 2006 and as the evening went on, it progressed forward to the present moment when we finished the last note of the last song.” As the night ended, Meiburg says he sensed a resolution. “It wasn’t so much that I thought this was over, exactly. I just thought that a particular phase was finished and an approach that had gone as far as I wanted to take it,” he explains.
"You As You Were"
"Breaking the Yearlings"
I interviewed Jonathan a long time ago for Neumu, around the time of Winged life, and you can read about that here if you like. It's kind of an origin story...about back when Will Sheff was in the band and so on. There are more birds in that one.