Winged Life

Measured on tone alone, Shearwater’s third album, Winged Life, moves at a familiar indie-moper pace (see Will Oldham, et al.), but the words, provided here by Okkervil River’s Jonathan Meiburg and Will Sheff, give this “side project” its wings. These are stories—clear narrations, thick with heartache and loss. Meiburg does the bulk of the singing here, but the first lyrics that stopped me came from Sheff’s “A Makeover.” Wrapping three snapshots of bliss—one fame, one financial success and one spiritual awakening—into one song, Sheff’s pleading voice digs in with talons of longing/regret as each person’s glory fades into memory: “It’s like a makeover when the filming’s over … and she can’t figure out how to tease out her hair that way herself.” And Meiburg’s no slouch himself, tying up a similar sentiment on the lolling, bittersweet closer, “The Set Table”: “So when you find these things that make you shine, don’t let them too far outside of your life, but don’t try to hold them too hard inside your mind when they slide. …”Shearwater plays at Moxie’s on Mon., April 19, at 8 p.m.