Shearwater Returns With New Album ‘The Great Awakening’

Photo by Bryan Parker

Shearwater has announced The Great Awakening, the band’s first new album in six years, will be released on June 10th, 2022, via the band’s own Polyborus label in partnership with Secretly Distribution. The sweeping and gently triumphant first single, “Xenarthran,” is out now alongside an Emily Cross (Loma, Cross Record)-directed video that further underscores the song’s invocation of hope. Opening with a wry question (“What did you expect?”), its hymn-like chorus circles back on itself before resolving in a wash of strings and a choir of howler monkeys, evoking a world of deep shadows and tantalizing glimmers of light. Check it out below..

Xenarthrans are the ‘strange-jointed’ mammals, which mostly live in South America: armadillos, anteaters, and sloths. Only one species of armadillo has wandered up to the southern U.S., and while we were recording The Great Awakening in Texas, I often saw them scurrying dimly through fields at dusk or snuffling in the mud after a rainstorm, and I couldn’t help admiring them. They’d walked thousands of miles on their wispy little feet, long noses to the ground, trundling into alien landscapes filled with unfamiliar dangers,” bandleader Jonathan Meiburg explains. “This song, and Emily’s eerie video, aren’t about armadillos, exactly—but they are about making your way through the dark spaces of a menacing but still very beautiful world. The roaring sounds near the end are howler monkeys I recorded in Guyana.” The Great Awakening is now available for pre-order HERE

Shearwater’s seventh studio albumproduced by the band and Dan Duszynski (Loma), shows us where its wandering frontman has been. While the thundering songs of the band’s 2016 LP Jet Plane and Oxbow (Sub Pop) were filled with fears for what the United States was becoming under the previous presidential administration, Meiburg resolved to find a new approach for The Great Awakening. “I felt hopeless,” he admits. “And I didn’t want to make hopeless music.” 

As a reminder of the band’s flawless musical talents, in 2016, Shearwater brilliantly covered David Bowie’s Lodger album -check out the results below…

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