Having already earned critical acclaim through his work with Okkervil River, at the turn of the millennium Jonathan Meiburg decided he needed a sonic output for his own musings, so began working with fellow Okkervil member Will Sheff. Working under the name Shearwater, Meiburg has spent the past 13 years weaving his own oeuvre over the course of 9 studio albums. Though the style is often broad brushed as ‘indie rock’, Shearwater has taken on various different forms while working with labels such as Misra, Matador and, more recently, Sub Pop, going from the bombastic and epic to the intensely personal and meditative.
Though early LPs The Dissolving Room, Everybody Makes Mistakes and Winged Life were strong, it was with Sheff’s decision to depart that Meiburg really came into his own with 2006’s Palo Santo. Named as one of Pitchfork’s albums of the year, it marked a rebirth for the band – follow-up Rook was declared “one of the best albums for years to come” by PopMatters, while Slant Magazine noted of 2010’s Golden Archipelogo “that rare kind of great album: tackling big ideas and attempting chancy things while delivering a product that feels flawlessly and decisively whole”. Most recent album Fellow Travelers has been called “wonderful stuff, partly because Shearwater’s renditions are lovely enough to make you want to seek out the real things” (Alternative Press, 8/10), “an intimate, nostalgic affair” (Best Fit), and “it epitomises everything that’s endearing and admirable about Shearwater” (Drowned in Sound).