Too Drunk To Dream

…ain’t no drinking when the bottle’s dry…

Can we discuss the band Shearwater?

I’m completely on the fence regarding the Austin, TX band Shearwater. Maybe I just need some like-minded junkies’ opinions on the matter. While I find the haunting, reflecting music of Jonathan Meiburg to be brilliant and hypnotic, I can’t say that I’m in love with the vocals. In the last year or so, my eyes and ears have run across countless industry people who fawn over this group, and I’ve tried so hard, keeping an open yet judgmental mind. I’m just not falling in love like I expected. I mean, I’ve fallen for Okkervil River (that was an easy sell) and since Shearwater is directly descended from the band, I expected an easy sell as well.

09 – Shearwater – The Snow Leopard.mp3 from ‘Rook’

02 – Shearwater – Rooks.mp3 from ‘Rook’

05 – Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five.mp3 from ‘Palo Santo’

06 – All The Pretty Horses.mp3 from ‘Sham Wedding/Hoax Funeral’

10 – Hail, Mary.mp3 from ‘Palo Santo’
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Tell me what you think?? Positive, negative…..hey, I’m an optimist (really?…no way) so sell me either way. ideally, the reason I am still on the fence is because I like them….mostly.


October 10, 2008 - Posted by | alt country, indie, jameson, jamesonian, mog, music, okkervil river, rock, shearwater, singer songwriter, toodrunktodream


  1. I know just what you mean. Someone recommended I listen to them as an alternative to my Radiohead fixation. Meiburg is no Thom Yorke–his falsetto sounds, well, fake to me, like the generic falsettos of a ton of rock singers when they toy with that register. So overall, it’s a disappointment. But the band sounds great in certain songs and when I’m in one of those moods. Have you heard “An Accident?” (from Everybody Makes Mistakes). It’s glorious, and Meiburg’s voice suits it perfectly. I also like most of Rooks, in small doses.

    Comment by Goldaline | October 11, 2008 | Reply

  2. The first step is to get any thought of Okkervil out of your mind. If people didn’t know they ever shared members there would be no comparison as the bands sound absolutely nothing alike. I also disagree with goldaline that Meiburg’s falsetto sounds fake (or any more fake than any non-castrated adult male). He is choir trained and thus has much control over his voice. Plus there are many songs that don’t use it. I happen to be a huge fan of his voice though, in all registers. In fact, it’s one of my absolute favorite voices. Have you seen them live? They are pretty amazing and may finally sell you. On the other hand, voices are a matter of personal taste regardless of the quality, and maybe you just will never like Meiburg’s.

    Comment by hmc1410 | October 12, 2008 | Reply

  3. I find them absolutley amazing. Shearwater has renewed my faith in music.

    Comment by Tracey Clarke | October 16, 2008 | Reply

  4. So I think I’m convinced. Clearly, I need to see them live, so Oct 19th in Boston, then it is.

    Goldaline – I’ve heard of the Radiohead comparisons as well, and while I love Radiohead, I don’t see much of a stylistic similarity between the two. [I also hate it when people are compared to Radiohead for some reason]. I’m gonna go out and get Everybody Makes Mistakes per your recommendation.

    HMC- voices are a matter of personal taste, agreed. It’s a time and place thing for me… but since I last posted about Meiburg, I’ve given him a bunch of spins, and I must say I don’t ‘notice’ his voice so much anymore. I Def need a live show under my belt, because that’s where the kudos are coming from.

    Tracey – tall words. I’m totally digging ‘Theives’ right now…

    Comment by Jameson | October 16, 2008 | Reply

  5. Thanks for keeping an open mind. As much as the sound is compelling, it is the songs that haunt and transfix me. They speak of a world, in the words of “The Hunter’s Star”, the last song on “Rook”, that “will never return again”. That seems such a metaphor for our times, in so many ways. Financial crises, ecological impacts–the images these songs conjure up are vivid and arresting. They do make you think–it’s not music that you can stay detached from. It requires a commitment.

    All that said, the live shows I have been to are wonderful, and the band members themselves accessible and neat individuals, committed to their music in a world that makes that hard to do. Hope your experience in Boston was a rewarding one!

    Comment by Menagerie | October 21, 2008 | Reply

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