Shearwater

This is Shearwater's fourth full-length and sees Jonathan Meiburg take the reins entirely from once collaborator Will Sheff of Okkervile River and sees them take a slightly new turn away from maudling Americana towards a much grander sound. Red Sea, Black Sea is the first sign that there's a new sheriff in town, and he means business. It ticks over slowly to start with then bursts with grandeur both instrumentally and vocally with Meiburg really starting to explore his range. It's this grandeur that makes Palo Santo so different from other Shearwater releases.

We see it again in Seventy Four, Seventy Five - the albums best moment. The thumping piano counts us in then the now characteristic bass heavy drums thunder through with the ever-increasing intensity of Meiburg's vocals. The only complaint is that as on Red Sea, Black Sea it all ends too suddenly.

There have been many comparisons between Meiburg's voice and Jeff Buckley. This is very evident and adds a certain sensitivity to other more low key tracks like Failed Queen and the album closer Going Is Song, a heartbreaker of a song that eases the album to a melancholic resting place.