ShowtimeSunday 9:00 pm
GenresFolk, Indie, Pop, Rock
Andy Shauf’s mastery of nuance and detail has made him one of the most buzzed-about Canadian artists of the past few years. In the tradition of songwriting greats such as Randy Newman and Paul Simon, Shauf’s latest album The Party has been praised worldwide for its captivating arrangements and honestly human songwriting. He has been nominated for the Polaris Prize as well as a Juno. He has toured Europe with indie-folk stars The Lumineers. He has won the praises of critics and artists alike, including Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy. This year, Shauf brings The Party to Northern Lights.
Awkward characters show up “Early to the Party,” and either reveal life-changing secrets (“To You”) or try their hardest to reveal nothing at all (“The Magician”). In “a city the size of a dinner plate,” everyone knew the guy who keeled over dead after smoking what he promised would be his last pack of cigarettes (“Alexander All Alone”). The girl dancing by herself, unselfconsciously, in the middle of the room, with the “Eyes of Them All” upon her. One moment you’re dancing with someone who bears an uncanny resemblance to your ex (“Martha Sways”), and later you start slagging your best friend as way of endearing yourself to his recently dumped ex (“Quite Like You”).
Did that all really happen in the same night? It certainly happens in the space of this tightly narrated thirty-eight minutes, all set to ornate arrangements of fuzzed-out guitars, string sections, clarinets and dreamy synths, all draped over delicate piano, acoustic guitars and rainy-day drums. What better way to close out the weekend than to float away peacefully on a bed of lush melodies and simple, honest lyricism.