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Shearwater Announces New Album, Shares Single “Quiet Americans”

Jet Plane and Oxbow due out January 22 via Sub Pop

Oct 20, 2015 Shearwater Bookmark and Share

Shearwater has announced a new album, Jet Plane and Oxbow, for release on January 22 on Sub Pop. The group has also announced the first dates of a 2016 tour. Hear the album’s lead single, “Quiet Americans,” below.

Jet Plane and Oxbow is the ninth studio album by the indie-rock band-not to be confused with Stillwater, the fictitious classic-rock group in Cameron Crowe’s movie Almost Famous-led by Brooklyn-based songwriter, singer, and guitarist Jonathan Meiburg. (Fun fact: Meiburg is also an ornithologist and recently conducted a scientific expedition in the remote jungles of Guyana where he encountered vampire fish and Octopus-sized spiders.)

Jet Plane and Oxbow includes some of the same musicians and guests of the excellent 2012 studio album Animal Joy and the 2013 covers album Fellow Travelers, including Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, Jesca Hoop, drummer Cully Symington, guitarist Abram Shook, and multi-instrumentalists Howard Draper and Lucas Oswald. The album was produced by Danny Reisch with occasional sound design assistance from soundtrack composer Brian Reitzell (who scores all of Sofia Coppola’s films).

In true Shearwater tradition, Meiburg has once again changed up his sound. Jet Plane and Oxbow was inspired by early 1980s albums such as Peter Gabriel’s self-titled/untitled third album, Talking Heads’ Remain in Light, David Bowie’s Scary Monsters, and David Byrne and Brian Eno’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. As such, the band limited itself to only using musical gear available during the New Wave era. (You’ll forgive them for using ProTools for editing.)

Despite its influences, the album sounds thoroughly modern rather than retro. Case in point, the lead single “Quiet Americans.” Like many songs on the record, it’s a cutting commentary about the state of America in the world today and seemingly takes its title from the Graham Greene novel The Quiet American.

In a new interview with music writer Michael Azerrad (which you can read on Sub Pop’s website), Meiburg states, “My idea for Jet Plane and Oxbow was to try to make a protest record that wasn’t dumb or preachy. Which was sometimes hard to reconcile with how much fun it was to do! But the more grand or triumphant the songs sounded, the more conflicted the lyrics became, which I really liked.”

Pre-orders of the album via Sub Pop’s website come with a month-early album stream plus a special podcast. As Meiburg explained in an email to Under the Radar, “I’m putting the finishing touches on a 50-minute podcast that contains a variety of demos and outtakes from Jet Plane and Oxbow and a bunch of field recordings I made in South America, embedded in a wide-ranging conversation between me and WNYC’s John Schaefer. I don’t think it would serve as a good introduction to the album, exactly, but it’s a great companion piece, which is the point, and I think I’m going to call it ‘Headwaters’ as it’s really about the early stages of the record (or any project).”

You can read our 2012 interview with Meiburg about his Indiana Jones-like expeditions here. And you can also read Meiburg’s track-by-track breakdown of Fellow Travelers for us here.

Shearwater’s European tour in 2016 is preceded by several dates in the USA (dates below). A spring tour of North America will be announced at a future date. Below also is “Quiet Americans” and the album’s tracklist.

Jet Plane and Oxbow Tracklist:

1. Prime
2. Quiet Americans
3. A Long Time Away
4. Backchannels
5. Filaments
6. Pale Kings
7. Only Child
8. Glass Bones
9. Wildlife in America
10. Radio Silence
11. Stray Lights at Clouds Hill

Shearwater 2016 Tour Dates:

02-03 Austin, TX - North Door
02-04 Dallas, TX - Club Dada
02-06 New York, NY - Mercury Lounge
02-10 Berlin, Germany - Frannz Club
02-11 Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen
02-12 Hamburg, Germany - Molotow
02-13 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso Noord
02-14 Brussels, Belgium - Botanique
02-16 Lille, France - Aeronef
02-17 London, England - Islington Assembly Hall
02-18 Bristol, England - The Fleece
02-19 Leeds, England - The Brudenell Social Club
02-20 Glasgow, Scotland - King Tuts
02-21 Newcastle, England - The Cluny
02-23 Dublin, Ireland - Button Factory
02-24 Manchester, England - Night & Day
02-25 Brighton, England - The Haunt
02-26 Paris, France - Point Ephémère
02-27 Zurich, Switzerland - Bogen F
02-28 Fribourg, Switzerland - Nouveau Monde


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