Thursday, December 3rd, 2009


Shearwater chart course to The Golden Archipelago

Photo via ShearwaterShearwaterIf there was a reason I finally got off my ass this past month and got my turntable fixed up with a shiny new cartridge, it’s this. Shearwater’s forthcoming The Golden Archipelago. The Austin band’s latest album, which is due out on February 23, has enormously high standards to live up to thanks to its two predecessors Palo Santo and Rook, but based on the just-released first MP3 from the album, the third part of this triumvirate will more than measure up if not eclipse the others. “Castaways” is nothing short of majestic, capturing the grand scope of Shearwater’s vision without giving up the the structure and immediacy of the pop song. It is amazing.

And it will look as grand as it sounds. Firm believers of the art of the album, both as an artistic statement and a physical package, Shearwater will be releasing The Golden Archipelago in distinct vinyl and CD formats that both appear to be essential to own. The CD will come with a 50-page perfect-bound book containing, as Matablog puts it, “a set of extracts from a dossier of records, photos, regulations and images collected by Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg” – probably not unlike that which you see in the video trailer released a little while back. As for the vinyl edition, the LP has two extra tracks making for a different running order and a coupon for digital downloads of the album and a PDF of the dossier, though those who pre-order will also receive a physical copy of the book.

As for the “why” of the differing editions, Meiburg chimed in with an explanation on the Shearwater message board in October. He described the CD as having “one running order, which we selected to be as concise as possible, so that it’s easiest to take in at one sitting” and the LP as “the version of the album I prefer, and the song that’s been placed back in the sequence was one of my favorites (and the one our co-producer, John Congleton, liked best of all). These songs make the LP about 20% longer than the CD”. So there you have it, the digital and analog offer two different experiences of the record though, obviously, if you have to choose one and are equipped to do so, the vinyl would be the way to go. Hence my getting the ol’ Rega serviced. February 23. I am ready.

MP3: Shearwater – “Castaways”

Pitchfork talks to Will Schaff, whose wonderful and often creepy artwork adorns the albums of Okkervil River. Buy one of his shirts, scare the neighbourhood children.

Blurt and New York talk to John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

There’s a new video out from The Dodos.

Video: The Dodos – “Long Form”

Spin declares Thao with The Get Down Stay Down to be a “hot new band”.

Interview and Stereogum interview Sufjan Stevens.

The Submarines have a new video from Honeysuckle Weeks.

Video: The Submarines – “Submarine Symphonika”

Spiral Stairs tells The Age that Pavement’s “no new material” edict for their 2010 reunion tour is doomed to fail.

Matt Ward and Zooey Deschanel tell Paste that She & Him Volume Two will be coming in Spring 2010. Deschanel also talks to The Wall Street Journal about her favourite music. I declare that this year, I will finally watch Elf. I’ve never seen it and it’s not the sort of film you can trot out in May. This year.

Holly Miranda records a Black Cab Session in the streets of New York.

Ca Va Cool interviews The Antlers.

Telekinesis stops in for a session with Daytrotter.

The Thermals certainly believe in long deadlines – Paste reports the band has gotten to work on album number five and are looking at a September 2010 release.

Craig Finn discusses the differences between Lifter Puller and The Hold Steady with Spinner.

You simply don’t get more French than Phoenix, Takeaway Shows and the Eiffel Tower. All you need is a fellow in a beret, striped shirt carrying a bague They’re at the decidedly un-Parisian Sound Academy this Saturday night, there’s an interview at The Detroit News and Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix was just nominated for a “best alternative album” Grammy.

Billboard reports that the Arcade Fire’s third album is on track for a May 2010 release and that they’ll likely be doing (headlining) the Summer festival circuit.

The Varsity interviews Think About Life.

Malajube discuss their touring schedule and plans to release an EP entitled Control with Chart.

Quick Before It Melts and The Brock Press interview Two Hours Traffic.

Steeltown label Sonic Unyon is going for a ghosts-of-Christmas-past/ghosts-of-Christmas-present theme for their annual holiday fete, drafting SIANspheric and Tristan Psionic out of retirement/hiatus/whatever to perform alongside Spirits and Quest For Fire at This Ain’t Hollywood in Hamilton on December 19. Admission $10, $5 with a donation of a non-perishable food item or a toy donation.

Some previews of the new Final Fantasy album Heartland are available via live videos on PitchforkTV’s “Tunnel Vision” series and a free download of “Lewis Takes Action” from Domino Records.

Fans of $100 may be interested to know they’ll be performing as a duet this Saturday night at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall (Bathurst and Niagara) as part of a special fundraising event – details here and here.

Canadian Interviews talk to Jenn Grant.

Spinner enumerates the best Canadian songs of the decade.

By : Frank Yang at 8:26 am
Category: General

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RSS Feed for this post3 Responses.
  1. the dprs says:

    Califone are opening for Wilco on Feb 2010 tour.

  2. Chris says:

    Really looking forward to this, essential record of 2010. May have to pick up the vinyl and CD. Tour dates and an album trailer are here worth checking out.

  3. This Morning in New Music | New Music says:

    […] reviews Shearwater’s new track […]