Photo: Chris Graham
Photo: Chris Graham

Foxwarren: To Be

Foxwarren: "To Be"(Arts & Crafts/Anti-): If the name of this band is not familar, that of its leader, Andy Shauf, most likely is. The eloquent singer/songwriter (and Polaris Prize shortlister) has earned an international audience as a solo artist, before returning to work with this group of friends from western Canada.

In a label press release, Shauf explains the backstory this way:  "My touring and recording schedule got pretty wild over the past three or four years, so it put the Foxwarren album on the backburner. We've been a band for 10 years or so and never properly released an album, so this is special for the four of us. Making the album was such an enjoyable time - the collaboration and frustration of it all. All of us trying to make something better than we previously had. I'm excited to get it out into the world and have other people listen to it. "

Joining Shauf in the project are Dallas Bryson (guitar/vocals) and brothers Darryl Kissick (bass) and Avery Kissick (drums & percussion). The initial sessions for their self-titled debut (out Nov. 30  via Arts & Crafts here, Anti- internationally) began ten years ago in the Kissicks’ parents’ farmhouse in Foxwarren, MB (hence the band name).

"To Be" is a gently-paced tune featuring Shauf's distinctive plaintive vocals, sweetly stinging guitar, and production touches that make it sound like something you could have heard on '70s AM radio. Sweet stuff.

There are no Foxwarren dates listed yet, but Shauf is currently playing solo shows, including Toronto's Trinity St. Paul's, Nov. 16-17.

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Publicity: Ken Beattie, Killbeat

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