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