may mp3 roundup

Junip – Your Life, Your Call
Anxiety thrums just under the surface.

Victory – Woman
City slick.

Splashh – Sun Kissed Bliss
Perfect for a sunbleached afternoon. 

Belle Mare – The Boat of the Fragile Mind 
Slow and ghostly, a spectre of beauty.

Hospital Ships – Come Back to Life 
Staying afloat among the swells and crashes.

we are yearlings

Animal Joy, Shearwater’s latest, has a ragged edge about it – lots of catches and snags that grab your attention. The elevator bassline of “Open Your Houses” is simple, but it digs its heels in. On “Insolence” the chilling guitar and skittering drums raise the hackles on the back of your neck, and lead single “Breaking the Yearlings” is dark and primal – the beating heart that lies beneath.

On February 19, 2012, Shearwater played their new songs for Madison, Wisconsin, at the High Noon Saloon. The songs translate well to a live setting; the sound is thick, every note deliberate. Singer and founding member Jonathan Meiburg’s voice is extremely powerful, nearly taking the house down on its own. While Shearwater’s songs generally have a serious, almost urgent feel, Meiburg and company are affable and clearly happy to be on stage.

Unsurprisingly, the songs that stood out most on the album are the same songs that shone brightest on stage, with the addition of a lovely performance of “I Was a Cloud” off of 2008’s Rook. While a bit of a sleeper on record, it hit a nerve when performed live, harnessing the electricity of the room to feed its quiet intensity.

Animal Joy dropped 02.14.12.
Find tour dates and more at Shearwater’s website.
Click to download “Breaking the Yearlings” and “You As You Were“.
Stream the entire album here.