Shearwater

The Crocodile Presents

Shearwater

Jesca Hoop, Alicia Amiri

Sat, February 15, 2014

8:00 pm

The Crocodile

Seattle, WA

$12 Adv.

This event is all ages

Shearwater
Shearwater
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 more often in their live shows than on record, 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 unique and, for a growing number of ardent fans, treasured bands.
This is definitely Shearwater's loudest record; it's easy to imagine these songs roaring from the stage. But it's also, strangely, their most intricate and beautiful one. Front man Jonathan Meiburg and producer/engineer Danny Reisch (who also recorded 2012's Animal Joy and the off-the-cuff collaborations of 2014's Fellow Travelers) 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 Abram Shook, Jesca Hoop and Jenn Wasner.
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. In Shearwater's hands, this doesn't feel like nostalgia; the racing synths and hammered dulcimers of heart-pounding opener "Prime" or the addled motorik of "Radio Silence" sound more like a metaphor for our own technologically bewildered moment.
Lyrically, Meiburg describes Jet Plane and Oxbow as a protest record (see attached interview); the title comes from a moment when he looked out of a 737 as another plane, passing below, bisected a loop of the Mississippi. In recent years, Meiburg's been working as a writer as well as a musician, but he doesnt seem distracted here; in fact, hes never sounded more present on record. His voice is urgent, angry, and tender by turns, and the songs are as multilayered as the production. "Quiet Americans", the obvious single, wraps a deep ambivalence inside a call to arms; Only Child, perhaps the most straightforward song Meiburg's ever written, is shot through with warmth even as it describes a life fracturing under pressure. And though the album begins in closeup: (and you were lying on your back in the grass/counting backward from a thousand) it ends wide, as "Stray Light at Clouds Hill" evokes the dark side of the earth-luminous, eerie, and vast. Shearwater have always worked on a huge canvas, but with Jet Plane and Oxbow, their reach finally equals their grasp.
Shearwater begin touring in Europe in February 2016, and the United States in March.
Jesca Hoop
Jesca Hoop
Jesca Hoop has lived all over the map, and her rich life experience is reflected in her distinctive voice and natural gift for inventive song craft.

Hoop learned to sing at an early age, harmonising with her musical Mormon family in northern California. She began writing highly idiosyncratic songs at the age of 14 to keep her company on her long walks to school. At 16, Hoop broke away from her strict upbringing and began what she calls her 'life as a racoon', off the grid & close to nature. Rambling through the high mountain deserts of the Southwest and along the coastlines of the Northwest, she worked as a wilderness survival guide and chalked up skills in farming, surveying, and carpentry. Her songwriting continued throughout, shared on porches, in deep river canyons and around campfires.

In 2004 the desire to share these songs on a broader scale set in. She settled in Los Angeles, where she honed her songwriting craft and developed a reputation as a unique and beguiling live performer of real substance. Though she now resides in Manchester, England, Hoop returned to Los Angeles to record her third album, The House That Jack Built.

Jesca has quite the growing collection of fans in high places: Tom Waits described her music as being "like a four sided coin. She is an old soul, like a black pearl, a good witch or red moon. Her music is like going swimming in a lake at night". Peter Gabriel took her to South America to sing with him, and in recent years she has been hand picked to play as support on tour for Eels, Andrew Bird, Punch Brothers, Shearwater and Elbow: Elbow's Guy Garvey even has her do regular stints as guest presenter on his BBC radio show, to great reception.

The follow up to 2009's critically acclaimed Hunting My Dress, this new record displays a striking duality: light and dark, head and heart, it juxtaposes the macabre and visceral with a disarmingly candid intimacy. The resulting combination is powerfully evocative, with overarching themes of biology, nature and humanity – Hoop's stone-turning observations are mired in the equal beauty and violence of a nature that, for her, is clearly red in tooth and claw.
Alicia Amiri
Alicia Amiri
Alicia Amiri is still waiting for that perfect feeling.
Venue Information:
The Crocodile
2200 2nd Ave
Seattle, WA, 98121
http://www.thecrocodile.com/