Shearwater will release its latest LP, Animal Joy, on February 14, but it hardly makes for ideal Valentine's Day listening, unless you can work your mojo to beautifully austere and dramatic folk-rock. Jonathan Meiburg's band has played record label hopscotch over the years (first on Misra, then Matador and now Sub Pop), though the shifts betray very few stylistic changes. The new album begins with the slow-building but glorious "Animal Life," and "You as You Were" has the anthemic, arpeggiated quality of an LCD Soundsystem jam, albeit created with upright pianos instead of synthesizers.
Last Time: At the band's November 2010 show at the Duck Room, Shearwater made a pretty good case for atheism with a harrowing take on Randy Newman's "God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind)."
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