Shearwater is from Austin, Texas, and led by songwriter, lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Meiburg. Since the band's name derives from the long-winged seabird called the shearwater, it's often mentioned that Meiburg has a degree in ornithology. That fact, plus Meiburg's lyrics and his vocal style give Shearwater a somewhat cerebral reputation. The band began in 1999 as a side project for Meiburg and Will Sheff when both were in Okkervil River. In time, Meiburg left Okkervil River and Sheff left Shearwater. It's been ten years since Sheff's departure, and the band has released its ninth studio album, Jet Plane And Oxbow. In this election year, The lyrics comment on American culture and politics, and the music is dramatic and cinematic.