Andy Shauf - Norm
“Andy Shauf thinks in scenes. The Canadian songwriter broke through with 2016’s The Party, a heartfelt account of a single night out told with grace and precision, which was followed by the astute The Neon Skyline in 2020. After a brief detour with the 2021 surprise album Wilds, Shauf’s upcoming album, Norm, is another character-driven comedy, this time focused on a single fictional person. The album’s lead single, “Wasted on You,” finds Shauf pondering the afterlife and wondering what to do when a lover dies.” – Pitchfork (Most Anticipated Albums of 2023)
“his vocals pull everything together so carefully that you can just imagine him nervously hovering, bated breath setting the atmosphere for the track” – Paste
“A superbly gifted storyteller, Andy Shauf returns with a new concept album in February. His records unfold like books, with each song a chapter filled with nuance and vibrant characters. “Wasted On You” is the first track from the album “Norm,” which Shauf self-produced and plays all the instruments you hear.” – KCRW (Today’s Top Tune)
Norm’s story takes shape through little epiphanies, accumulating like debris from a series of implosions. Its cast of characters includes four voices in all. Three are narrators, inside whose perspective Shauf submerges us for one or more songs. Alongside story editor Nicholas Olson, Shauf refined Norm’s narrative until he felt the bones of the story as he imagined it lay close enough to the surface to be dug up by anyone who wanted to go looking. With Shauf singing everything, it’s not always obvious at first whose point of view is represented in each song. But the lyric sheet provides discreet clues to know whose voice we’re hearing at any given moment. Only through repeated listening does the story fully reveal itself.
Shauf wrote, performed and recorded the entire album and enlisted Neal Pogue (Outkast, Tyler, The Creator) to mix. Pogue took Norm’s sonic framework in a new direction, one with a greater sense of clarity and lots of space. Listen closely, and deep in the music, a shift happens as the world goes sideways. The tempo slows, vertigo slips in, or a discordant note appears. An uneasy clarinet phrase devolves into a busy signal. A lyric veers from a bird’s-eye-view to intimate thoughts. The result is a recognizable Shauf production, but with a flowing landscape of suppressed grooves propelling the songs toward uncertain destinations. He’s driving us out to a wild and dangerous place. (read full bio HERE)
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