Shearwater have announced the upcoming release of a new record dubbed Jet Plane and Oxbow. The LP technically marks the follow-up to 2013’s covers album Fellow Travelers, but is the band’s first collection of original music since 2012’s Animal Joy. A release date is set for January 22nd, 2016 through Sub Pop Records.
Recorded over two years in the band’s hometown of Austin as well as Los Angeles, the album sees mastermind Jonathan Meiburg and frequent producer/engineer Danny Reisch welcoming new additions to the Shearwater family. Those include Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, Abram Shook, Howard Draper, Lucas Oswald, Jesca Hoop, and film composer Brian Reitzell (Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides). All of these new voices have resulted in Shearwater’s loudest effort to date, but “also, strangely, their most intricate and beautiful one.”
“My idea for Jet Plane and Oxbow was to try to make a protest record that wasn’t dumb or preachy,” Meiburg said in an interview for Sub Pop. “But the more grand or triumphant the songs sounded, the more conflicted the lyrics became, which I really liked.” He likened the album to a breakup letter with the United States. “I can’t stop being an American, even when it makes my skin crawl. I also can’t help loving it here, even though I hate it sometimes, too. And I don’t think I’m the only one here who feels like this.”
As a prime example of this ideology on the record, the band has shared “Quiet Americans” as the lead single. Bleating synths bump along throughout the track, and electronic heartbeat that seems frightened by the drive of the track. Sparse sounds become almost cacophonous on the chorus as Meiburg’s voice reached the heights of a rally cry. He sings out, “The only sound/ From the lantern covered hills/ The only light/ From the day yet to begin/ The only sign/ Of the guns in silhouette.”
Take a listen below.
Pre-orders for Jet Plane and Oxbow, which are going on now via Sub Pop, come with come with a podcast featuring demos and outtakes amid a conversation between Meiburg and WNYC host John Schaefer.
Jet Plane and Oxbow Tracklist:
02. Quiet Americans
03. A Long Time Away
06. Pale Kings
07. Only Child
08. Glass Bones
09. Wildlife In America
10. Radio Silence
11. Stray Light At Clouds Hill