On this episode of In Conversation, we caught up with Jonathan Meiburg to talk about the fantastic new Shearwater album The Great Awakening, their first release in six years.
Even though Shearwater has been inactive in that time, Meiburg has kept incredibly busy—releasing two albums with the project Loma that he started with Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski as well as writing his first work of non-fiction titled A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life and Epic Journey of the World’s Smartest Birds of Prey.
Shearwater’s last album Jet Plane and Oxbow, found the band favoring anthemic songs that streamlined the experimentation on classic albums like 2008’s Rook and 2012’s Animal Joy. This time around with The Great Awakening, Meiburg has created one of his most engrossing and satisfying works to date—taking time to let songs and musical movements bloom with some of the most lush and daring orchestrations he and his band have ever attempted.
Meiburg and the band chose to crowdfund this new album which is out now on their very own Polyborus records.
In this conversation, Meiburg discusses the recording of The Great Awakening, his recent move to Hamburg, Germany, the lessons he learned from covering Bowie’s legendary Berlin Trilogy with Shearwater for a series of concerts sponsored by WNYC back in 2018, his love of Marvin Gaye’s classic album What’s Going On, his disillusionment with touring, and so much more.