In 2008, when Jonathan Meiburg left Okkervil River to focus exclusively on Shearwater, his bird-named band, and his ornithological career studying birds, you could see that Meiburg's other Okker Will Sheff had big plans in mind. (That they would include Roky Erikson, well... not as apparent.)
Now, Meiburg has completed his third full album of atmospheric, proggy pop-rock with Shearwater. During this late-night set celebrating the new The Golden Archipelago, Shearwater was ready to fly. Compositions such as "Hidden Lakes" are becoming familiar. The brass lends the band one of the subtlest, magnetic Latin vibes this side of Calexico.
Despite a busy showcase schedule this SXSW, Meiburg remain capable of reaching angelic high notes, and he never let go his repertoire of passionate honks and wails. Shearwater songs are not as narrative as those recorded by the old outfit, but even with an industry-heavy crowd chatting and taking a breather as the conference wore on, the mostly majestic poetry and bursts of uptempo rock kept the chatter in check.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.