Here's some late-but-not-breaking news from the Shearwater camp.
Evidently, it's an album of covers and I questioned the need to cover a Coldplay song (who wouldn't?) but then I read the press release again and noted that the cover choices were based on the band's that Shearwater have traveled with or slept with throughout their career.
Actually, I'm not sure about the "slept with" part, but it certainly sounded more juicy than just another collection of cover songs.
I like the Swans reference too, as the drummer who played with Shearwater when I saw them, now pounds the shit out of his drums for the Swans currently so, you know, six degrees of Michael Gira.
We are pleased to offer details on behalf of Shearwater’s Fellow Travelers, a new collection of reinventions and collaborations, available on CD, LP and digital on November 26th via Sub Pop. The album was produced, mixed, and engineered by Danny Reisch at Good Danny’s and Public Hi-Fi studios in Austin, Texas. You can now listen to the lead-off track, a cover of Xiu Xiu’s “I Luv The Valley OH!!”. Please find a tracklisting below.
Shearwater bandleader Jonathan Meiburg says of “I Luv The Valley OH!!”:
“Xiu Xiu’s deeply anxious song always seemed like it wanted to be a big rock anthem to me, so we decided to go for it and and blow it out. I played a white 3-pickup SG (like Sister Rosetta Tharpe!) through a Marshall stack (like AC/DC!) for the opening guitar riff – not a sound that’s ever appeared on a SW rec before – and Cully Symington whacked the drums with mallets as hard as he could, sounding more like the Swans’ orchestral-percussion approach than a regular drum set. I love how this song – about imploring a partner to take Mifeprex, I’m pretty sure - seems to explode and implode at the same time, a state of ecstatic terror that Jamie’s music often inhabits and that lurks in a lot of my songs, too. (For more info, including a Fellow Travelers track by track breakdown by JM, click here).
About Shearwater’s Fellow Travelers:
JM: Fellow Travelers wasn’t supposed to be a full-length record, so I’m a little surprised to admit that it’s my favorite Shearwater album so far. Somehow it slipped under the door. It was meant to be a small thing, maybe a home-recorded EP, to release between Animal Joy and the next full-length (for which we’re in the studio right now). But it took on a life of its own. Re-imagining and renovating songs by the bands we’ve traveled with—with assistance from the bands themselves—was like leafing through a scrapbook, and brought back the highs and lows of a decade of touring, from dives in Oklahoma and squats in Slovenia to the Fillmore West, the Bataclán, and the MGM Grand...(read more at Sub Pop).
1) “Our Only Sun” – a fragment of the song “Deeper Devastation,” by Jesca Hoop
2) “I Luv the Valley OH!!” – Xiu Xiu
3) “Hurts Like Heaven” – Coldplay
4) “To Be of Use” – Smog
5) “Natural One” – Folk Implosion
6) “Ambiguity” – David Thomas Broughton
7) “Cheerleader” – St. Vincent
8) “Tomorrow” – Clinic
9) “A Wake for the Minotaur” – Shearwater & Sharon Van Etten
10) “Mary is Mary” – Wye Oak
11) “Fucked Up Life” - The Baptist Generals