Shearwater perform in The Current studio

Shearwater perform "Pale Kings" off the album Jet Plane Oxbow live in The Current studio. (MPR)
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    Mar 22, 2016 Listen to all 5 tracks:
    Shearwater perform in The Current studio (full session and interview)
    Shearwater - Pale Kings (Live on The Current)
    Shearwater - Wildlife in America (Live on The Current)
    Shearwater - Boys Keep Swinging (Live on The Current)
    Shearwater - DJ (Live on The Current)

The Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser studio at Minnesota Public Radio looks a bit different today. Instead of the typical overhead tungsten lights illuminating the humidified room, it's Shearwater's brightly colored neon lamps. They stand about four feet tall next to each performer: Jonathan Meiburg (vocals, guitar), Emily Lee (keys, violin), Sadie Powers (bass), Josh Halpern (drums) and Lucas Oswald (guitar).

In town for a show at the Turf Club supporting their new album, Jet Plane and Oxbow, Shearwater stopped by The Current to perform live in-studio and to chat with host Mary Lucia.

Looch, who is a huge fan of David Bowie, was thrilled to hear that for their third song, Shearwater were to perform a cover of "Boys Keep Swinging" off his 1979 Lodger album, a record especially important to frontman Jonathan Meiburg: "After a lot of weird traveling last year I came back and for some reason listening to [Lodger] over and over and over was the thing that made me feel more normal again, even though that album is so anxious and confused. It makes you feel less alone in your anxiety and confusion." For a select few recent shows, Shearwater performed Lodger in its entirety including Rough Trade in New York City and an hour-long encore at Schubas in Chicago.

"Wildlife in America," another song performed in-studio, is about Texas where Shearwater still practice and record. Meiburg, who lived in Austin for 12 years, now resides in New York but often bounces between poles to research and conduct interviews for his book detailing the evolution of South America with help from a family of falcons (caracaras). "[Traveling] does funny things to your consciousness, which is something we wanted to talk about on the new record [Jet Plane and Oxbow] in some ways, is that feeling of being outside the place that you came from and then returning to it and the disorientation you feel for a short but very interesting time when you come home."

In a way, this was a coming home for Mary. Shearwater's in-studio was her first session since returning from leave. As a gift, Shearwater performed another Bowie favorite, "DJ," just for her.

Songs Performed

"Pale Kings"
"Wildlife in America"
"Boys Keep Swinging" (David Bowie cover)
"DJ" (David Bowie cover)

All songs off Shearwater's album Jet Plane and Oxbow, out now on Sub Pop Records.

Hosted by Mary Lucia
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Mike DeMark
Web feature by Leah Garaas
Visuals by Nate Ryan

Guests

  • Shearwater

Resources

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11 Photos

  • Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg performing live in The Current studio
    Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg performing live in The Current studio
    Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Shearwater soundchecking in The Current studio
    Shearwater soundchecking in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Guitarist Lucus Oswald performing with Shearwater live in The Current studio
    Guitarist Lucus Oswald performing with Shearwater live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Emily Lee and Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater performing live in The Current studio
    Emily Lee and Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Bassit Sadie Powers performing with Shearwater live in The Currents studio
    Bassit Sadie Powers performing with Shearwater live in The Currents studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Drummer Josh Halpern performing with Shearwater live in The Current studio
    Drummer Josh Halpern performing with Shearwater live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Shearwater performing live in The Current studio
    Shearwater performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Emily Lee performing with Shearwater live in The Current studio
    Emily Lee performing with Shearwater live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg performing live in The Current studio
    Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
  • Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg performing live in The Current studio
    Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg performing live in The Current studio (MPR / Nate Ryan)
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