Shearwater has a tasty treat for us to listen to: a full-length preview of the band's latest album, Rook, which releases today, June 3rd, is available on the band's MySpace page.
For the uninitiated, Shearwater started as a spin-off band for Okkervil River, to record songs that didn't fit in with Okkervil River's sound. It's no longer a side project, though — in 2007, The New York Times listed Palo Santo as one of the best albums of the year.
Rook is short–a wee 35 minutes long. It's a good thing, too, otherwise you might find yourself lost in the meandering paths each song takes. When I first started listening to the album, I asked a friend to give it a shot. The way quiet mistral-like vocals mixed with soaring instrumentals prompted the question, "Is this a good album to dance the horizontal tango to?" We discussed, and the resounding agreement: nein! However, it's exactly the kind of sound you want to decompress to after a long day. You might even want to dance like a hippy chick for parts of it.
There's a lot of piano, gorgeous vocals, vibraphone, and cello. The album could make real life into a waking dream if you walked around the city with it on your iPod. While most of the album fits together quite nicely, "South Col" is the odd song out–it sounds like the band wrote a piece about a haunted playground. It's a RAD haunted playground, it just comes out of nowhere.
But enough of my descriptions. Have a listen, and check back later today on TIG for a full-length review of Rook.