AOTY 2020

The Golden Archipelago

Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago
Critic Score
Based on 17 reviews
2010 Ratings: #102 / 879
User Score
Based on 9 ratings
February 23, 2010 / Release Date
LP / Format
Matador / Label
Folk / Genres
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Drowned in Sound

If you’ve visited Shearwater’s website over the last couple of months, you’ll have been greeted by an arresting, scratchily-filmed series of images – of mist over mountains, damaged flags and roiling sea-waters; of travel journals and captains’ logs, bloodied bird carcasses and satellite grabs. It’s all part of the story.


You've got to admire Shearwater. To so many bands the notion of songwriting consists largely of stroking their chins for a couple of hours before scrawling down a few rhyming couplets about the birds they fancy. In stark relief, birdwatcher Jonathan Meiburg likes to prepare. Thoroughly.

A lot of folk believe 'The Golden Archipelago' improved on the work of 'Rook' and even if I can't join them in that opinion, I can also understand their stance.

It may lack the highlights of its predecessor but it has the most consistency in terms of sound and thematic focus; everything seems 'just so' and carefully constructed.

The (sort of) rockers 'Black Eyes' and 'Corridors' instantly recall previous efforts but both are strong compositions, while the slowly evolving ballads 'Hidden ... read more
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Year End Lists

#7/Drowned in Sound

Track List

  1. Meridian
  2. Black Eyes
  3. Landscape at Speed
  4. Hidden Lakes
  5. Corridors
  6. God Made Me
  7. Runners of the Sun
  8. Castaways
  9. An Insular Life
  10. Uniforms
  11. Missing Islands
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