(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Just two weeks after releasing its latest album, Animal Joy, Austin-based indie-rock group Shearwater, an offshoot of critically acclaimed cult band Okkervil River, will perform at Club Helsinki on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at 8 p.m.
Founded in 2001 by Okkervil River members Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff as an outlet for quieter songs on which the two were working, Shearwater now has eight recordings to its credit, including its new album, which was released on the famed Sub Pop label. The group is now a trio, featuring founding member Jonathan Meiburg (vocals, guitar, and piano), Meiburg’s ex-sife Kimberly Burke (upright and electric bass) and Thor Harris (drums).
For Animal Joy, the group is filled out by guest performers Andy Stack (of Wye Oak) on guitar, keyboard, and saxophone, Scott Brackett on keyboards, Cully Symington on additional drums, Sam Lipman on clarinet, Peter Katis on celeste, Danny Reisch on percussion and Elaine Barber on harp.
Lead singer Meiburg boasts a vibrato-laced tenor voice that often recalls Richard Thompson, and the group’s songs feature soaring melodies, infectious hooks, and insinuating electric guitar lines that cut through sweeping layers of keyboards. At times quiet and organic, arrangements sometimes turn on a dime, with pounding chords making declarative musical statements worthy of prog-rock outfits such as Peter Gabriel-era Genesis and Yes.
The band’s name comes from the shearwater, a tribe of seabirds related to petrels and albatrosses. Meiburg, who holds a master’s degree in geography with a focus on ornithology, picked the name mostly for the sound of the word.
Animal Joy was produced and recorded by Danny Reisch in Austin.
For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call: 518.828.4800