Monday, 29 December 2008

Best of 2008: #3 Shearwater - Rook

Shearwater - Rook (*****)

Keen bird-spotter Jonathan Meiburg is more interesting than the anorak and binoculars stereotype suggests: he’s been a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist in Okkervil River since 1999, and is now concentrating full-time on ornithologically named side-project Shearwater, whose new record Rook was one of the most beguiling of the year. The sparse atmospherics led to many comparisons with latter-day Talk Talk, but Shearwater retain far more energy than Mark Hollis’ sleepy troupe. With his distinctively sharp crooning vocals and a real ear for creating space with careful production, Meiburg’s band crafted a sumptuous melodrama that wavered between moments of despondency and beacons of hope.

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