Shearwater - Jet Plane And Oxbow (Vinyl) Ltd. Edition

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Jet Plane and Oxbow, Shearwater’s second original full-length for Sub Pop, is their career-defining album—the leap forward those of us who’ve been watching them for years have always believed they would make. Lush, powerful, and grand, with a confident edge heard in their live shows, it feels like the musical statement they’ve been working toward through five albums and a decade on the road. It’s an album that captures the light and darkness of our time through the lens of one of our most treasured bands. This is definitely Shearwater’s loudest record, but it’s also their most beautiful one. Producer/engineer Danny Reisch (who also recorded 2012’s Animal Joy and the off-the-cuff collaborations of 2014’s Fellow Travelers) and frontman Jonathan Meiburg spent two years crafting Jet Plane and Oxbow in studios in Austin and Los Angeles, with help from drummer Cully Symington, longtime Shearwater associates Howard Draper and Lucas Oswald, and tourmates Jesca Hoop and Jenn Wasner (of Wye Oak). But their secret weapon this time is film composer and percussionist Brian Reitzell, whose credits include The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation, The Bling Ring, and 30 Days of Night. Reitzell’s arsenal of strange instruments and equipment emphasizes the album’s cinematic depth and scope, and reflects the band’s choice to anchor the record in the era when digital technology was just beginning to transform the world of recorded music. 

Disc 1, Translucent Blue Disc 2, Aquamarine Blue

I first took notice of Shearwater when Jonathan Meiburg’s golden voice appeared on Okkervil River’s “Lost Coastlines.” The track was Meiburg’s last hurrah as a member of the band before focusing entirely on Shearwater. From my experience, Shearwater has also been one small step away from something truly remarkable. Jet Plane and Oxbow takes about half the step needed. As usual, the highlight is Meiberg’s phenomenal vocals and richly detailed lyrical content. The dense, baroque compositions common to Shearwater records remains while further complemented by atmospheric synths that recall Talk Talk’s classic post-rock.

By: Jonnyleather

A1 Prime
A2 Quiet Americans
A3 A Long Time Away
B1 Backchannels
B2 Filaments
C1 Pale Kings
C2 Only Child
C3 Glass Bones
D1 Wildlife In America
D2 Radio Silence
D3 Stray Light Clouds

Catalogue Number: SP 1112

Record Label: Sub Pop