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Shearwater: Animal Joy

Rob Young, Uncut, March 2012

SINCE JONATHAN MEIBURG and Will Sheff splintered off from Okkervil River in 2001, the reason was ostensibly to create a backwater in which they could explore quieter material. With Sheff now departed, Shearwater, based in Austin, Texas, have coalesced around the songwriting of Meiburg alone, and with a fluid line-up he has completed a string of albums, of which Animal Joy is the band's eighth. Over the past few releases, including Rook and The Golden Archipelago he has taken the group, now a trio including ex-wife Kimberly Burke (bass) and Thor Harris (drums), into rockier waters. Last year's live improvised joint, Shearwater Is Enron, introduced Andy Stack of Wye Oak and members of tour buddies Hospital Ships.

Total word count of piece: 626

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