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Shearwater was formed by two bandmembers of Austin, TX’s Okkervil River. Okkervil’s back-up vocalist and accordion/keyboard player Jonathan Meiburg and singer and guitarist Will Sheff formed Shearwater so they could write quieter songs. Beginning in 2005, Sheff lessened his role in the band, leaving Meiburg as the band’s songwriter from Palo Santo on.

Band members today include Jonathan Meiburg, Thor Harris, Kim Burke, Lucas Oswald, with many contributions from others. The touring band in 2012 featured producer/drummer Danny Reisch and guitarist/vocalist Mitch Billeaud of The Lemurs and Christiaan Mader of Brass Bed.

To date, Shearwater has released eight full-length albums The Dissolving Room, Everybody Makes Mistakes, Winged Life, Palo Santo, Rook, The Golden Archipelago, and Animal Joy, as well as EPs Thieves and The Snow Leopard, and a split LP with Okkervil River entitled Sham Wedding/Hoax Funeral, as well as an album of covers of former touring partners, Fellow Travelers, released in November 2013.

As an ornithologist and writer, Meiburg has a unique perspective. The songs of Palo Santo were partly written at the Galápagos Islands in the footsteps of Charles Darwin. Rook was influenced by studies in the Falklands Islands and by the current mass extinction we are living through. The Golden Archipelago examined the destruction of island cultures in the 20th century and beyond.


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