Andy Shauf -Jaywalker (Arts & Crafts/Anti_): Now globally recognised as one of Canada's very best singer/songwriters, the Toronto-based Shauf released a surprise new album, Wilds, on Sept. 24 (out physically on Nov. 19).
A label bio informs us that "Wilds is a collection of nine songs culled from around fifty tracks recorded by Shauf during the writing of his widely lauded last album, 2020’s The Neon Skyline. All songs on Wilds were written and recorded closely together, during a period when Shauf became disenchanted with the idea of centering the Skyline narrative around one night at a bar. To shake off the writer’s block, he began experimenting with a different concept, penning songs about a woman named Judy. Shauf ultimately decided to return to his original plan, but the creative exercise was fundamental to what Skyline eventually became."
There is nothing second-class about the newly released material, as Jaywalker affirms. Featuring minimal production, with all instruments played and recorded by Shauf in his studio in Toronto, it is an unassuming yet beguiling tune built around his relaxed vocals. His knack for perceptive character-driven vignettes is in evidence ("jaywalker with your head hung low, you never saw it coming"), while the cute cat in the lyric video is a sweet bonus.
Wilds is Shauf's seventh solo album. He has released two more with the band Foxwarren. Being so prolific has not affected the quality of this shining talent though.
Shauf began an extensive US tour on Sept. 22, to be followed by Feb. shows in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto, more US dates, and then European and UK shows, April 18 to May 19. Itinerary and tickets here.
Publicity: Ken Beattie, Killbeat
Management: Kelp Management, Jon Bartlett
Booking: Canada - Artist Group International, Adam Countryman