There are those rare moments where something heartbreaking seems to uplift. It's the kind of moment that Hollywood has practically built itself around; where something depressing appears in a different light, as beautiful in its struggle. The orphan makes it to college. The dog finds his way home. The beloved prep school writing teacher dies. Spoiler alert. Dies. The unlikely teens in detention find common ground. The Gloucestermen don't make it back to Gloucester. You stare into the void and find something you never expected. Essentially, the beauty is either in the breakdown or it isn't. For Shearwater, it absolutely is.
Recalling the most spacious of soundscapes and the conceptual isolationism of "castaways," Shearwater have crafted something with increasingly urgent drums, sparse guitars and the most soaring vocals not attached directly to a Band of Horses record. By the end, the arrangement has risen around you in unexpected and familiar ways. You feel alone but you're encouraged that your loneliness might count for something. Hollywood tells us it does; fictional heartbreak is just the training wheels and Neosporin for the real thing.
Listen :: Shearwater - "Castaways"