Austin-based indie rock band Shearwater has been wowing audiences with their cerebral songwriting, lyrical imagery, and virtuosic musicianship for the better part of the last two decades. The group began as a side project of frontman Jonathan Meiburg while playing with indie darlings Okkervil River, and since then they’ve matured into a full-fledged psych-folk force in their own right. Meiburg is an avid ornithologist, and his intimate songs brim with evocative nature references and spacious instrumentation that conjures up majestic American landscapes. His feathery, soulful vocals take front and center at the band’s awe-inspiring shows, drawing ticket buyers in and holding them in rapt attention until the last note is played and the lights go up.
Shearwater was formed by Jonathan Meiburg in 1999 as an outlet for songs he wrote that were too hushed and intimate for Okkervil River, the band he was playing with at the time. While still performing with Okkervil, Meiburg and a talented group of supporting musicians released Shearwater’s 2001 debut album The Dissolving Room. A string of acclaimed albums followed in the early ‘00s, and in 2008 the group signed to Matador records and Meiburg left Okkervil to focus on Shearwater full-time. They released Rook (2008) and The Golden Archipelago (2010) on the venerable imprint, and in 2012 switched camps for another iconic indie label – Seattle’s Sub Pop Records. Their debut on the label, 2012’s Animal Joy, was a hit with critics, leading to a tour with Sharon Van Etten. Since then Shearwater has continued to record on Sub Pop, with plans to release the album Jet Plane and Oxbow on the label in 2016.