Shimmering through a creeping piano motif Shearwater's new single "Aqaba" (from the album The Great Awakening, out 10 June 2022) is majestic, an essay in fragile, eerie understatement. Effortless and eloquent it drifts, swoops and falls like the cadences of an encroaching tide. Perfect indication that the six years wait since their last album is about to be rewarded fulsomely.
Brutal tenderness exuding eloquence a shifting, shimmering sea of strings crest below Jonathan Meiburg's voice, a haunting falsetto in elegant glide. A song of bruised but exquisite melancholy, he even has some subtle interventions from a Guayanese toucan, perhaps a first and only collaboration of its kind, a deft and magical atmospheric touch.
This is a smouldering epic akin to Scott Walker in collaborative mode with Vaughan Williams. There are traces of late period Talk Talk, Tindersticks, and the criminally underrated Perry Blake. Artistry poised and breathtaking as an act of grace. Drift into a mystical world you won't ever want to leave.