Palo Santo

Shearwater got awesome all of a sudden in 2006 with the release of Palo Santo. It's not that they were bad before that or anything, but sounded more like the Okkervil River side project they were (and are). On Palo Santo, it's exclusively Jon Meiburg's vocals and songwriting, and no offense to Will Sheff, but I like the former's songs better.

From that first paragraph, one might be inclined to believe that I was into Shearwater all along and heard about them before you did because I'm just that cool. Actually though, no. Those are my impressions working backward chronologically from Palo Santo. I first heard Shearwater just last year opening for Magnolia Electric Co in DC, and was thoroughly impressed. It's not that their sound is exactly 100% unique, it's just that it's really good. Meiburg's vocals are fantastic. I wish I could put "La Dame et la Licorne" up here so you could get a full grasp of his range, but that one is not and never has been available for free, so not so much.

Instead, I have two other tracks from Palo Santo. Or more accurately, the band does, as this way I don't have to upload them. The first is "White Waves," which has an almost Stones-y riff to most of it that I promise you will find memorable, even if you end up not liking the song.

Shearwater - White Waves

The second is "Seventy-four, Seventy-five", which the band's website suggests "recalls early John Cale." It's basically an enjoyable piano-based number with a very pentatonic sort of sound to it.

Shearwater - Seventy-four, Seventy-five

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