#21 Andy Shauf “The Party” – Year End Countdown of The Most Notable Albums of 2016

29 year old Regina, Saskatchewan native Andy Shauf doesn’t work or play well with the other children and that is precisely why after having received a grant to record this album in Germany with a group of fellow musicians Shauf packed it in, headed back to Regina, holed himself up in an old CBC Radio Canada building and painstakingly re-recorded this album bit my bit one part at a time by himself. The result was deemed worthy enough of an Arts & Crafts label release and a 2016 Polaris Prize nomination. A concept album of sorts based around a literary construct wherein each song represents a different party goer Shauf utilizes these pieces to explore themes of loneliness, isolation, sadness and despair. While certainly not in the same league as mad genius Brain Wilson’s Pet Sounds/Smile glory there are elements of his meticulously layered production style present here making Shauf a composer and recording artists of note whose career arc should be followed closely over the next number of years.

Key tracks: The Magician, Early To The Party, Begin Again, To You



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