Friday, Dec 11, 10 PM

Andy Shauf

One Eyed Jacks
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615 Toulouse St., New Orleans, LA
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Few artists are storytellers as deft and disarmingly observational as Andy Shauf. The Toronto-based, Saskatchewan-raised musicians songs unfold like short fiction: theyre densely layered with colorful characters and a rich emotional depth. On his new album The Neon Skyline (out January 24 via ANTI-), he sets a familiar scene of inviting a friend for beers on the opening title track: I said, Come to the Skyline, Ill be washing my sins away. He just laughed, said Ill be late, you know how I can be; The LPs 11 interconnected tracks follow a simple plot: the narrator goes to his neighborhood dive, finds out his ex is back in town, and she eventually shows up. While its overarching narrative is riveting, the real thrill of the album comes from how Shauf finds the humanity and humor in a typical night out and the ashes of a past relationship.His last full-length 2016s The Party was an impressive collection of ornate and affecting songs that followed different attendees of a house party. Shaufs attention-to-detail in his writing evoked Randy Newman and his unorthodox, flowing lyrical phrasing recalled Joni Mitchell. Though that album was his breakthrough, his undeniable songwriting talent has been long evident. Raised in Bienfait, Saskatchewan, he cut his teeth in the nearby Regina music community. His 2012 LP The Bearer of Bad News documented his already-formed musical ambition and showcased Shaufs burgeoning voice as a narrative songwriter with songs like Hometown Hero, Wendell Walker, and My Dear Helen feeling like standalone, self-contained worlds. In 2018, his band Foxwarren, formed over 10 years ago with childhood friends, released a self-titled album where Pitchfork recognized how Shauf has diligently refined his storytelling during the last decade.Like hes done throughout his career, Shauf wrote, performed, arranged, and produced every song on The Neon Skyline, this time at his new studio space in the west end of Toronto. Happy accidents like Shauf testing out a new spring reverb pedal led to album cuts like the woozy closer Changer and experimenting with tape machines forced him to simplify how hed arrange the tracks. Over the course of a year-and-a-half, Shauf ended up with almost 50 songs all about the same night at the bar. Though paring down his massive body of work to a single albums worth of material was a challenge for Shauf, the final tracklist is seamless and fully-formed.As much as The Neon Skyline is about a normal night at a bar with friends and a bartender who knows exactly what youll order before you sit down, the album is also about the painful processing of a lost love. Lead single Things I Do examines the dissolution of the narrators past relationship. Over tense and jazz-minded instrumentation, Shauf sings, Seems like I should have known better than to turn my head like it didnt matter. Sale Dates and Times: Public Onsale : Wed, 18 Mar 2020 at 09:00 AM