Andy Shauf - Wasted On You (Arts & Crafts): This internationally-lauded Toronto-based singer/songwriter has just announced that a new album, Norm, will be released on Feb. 10, 2023.
The lead single/video, Wasted On You, is now out. The keyboard-led melody is strong, and Shauf reflects upon the subject of death with typically gentle and warm vocals. Am not sure that the offbeat video adds much, but the tune itself is a winner.
A label press release describes the upcoming album this way: "With Norm, Shauf has slyly deconstructed and reshaped the style for which he’s been celebrated, elevating his songwriting with intricate layers and perspectives, challenging himself to find a new direction. Under the guise of an intoxicating collection of jazz-inflected romantic ballads, his storytelling has become decidedly more oblique, hinting at ominous situations and dark motivations."
On earlier albums, 2016’s The Party and 2020’s The Neon Skyline, Shauf established himself as one of our most literate songwriters, and his tunes married subtly pleasing melodies and his understated but gently beguiling vocals.
For Norm, Shauf took advantage of the pandemic-induced break from touring to lock himself in his garage studio, self-producing and playing every instrument on Norm, a collection of more conventional songs written predominantly on guitar, piano and synths. He then hired Neal Pogue (Tyler, the Creator, Janelle Monae, Outkast), a prodigious shaper of genre-and-time-defying tracks, to mix the album, enhancing its atmospheric elements. We await the complete album with real relish.
Shauf has a Mexico City show tomorrow (Nov. 18), and he has announced a major 2023 Norm tour. This begins with solo shows in Fredericton (Jan. 20) and Halifax (Jan. 21), followed by US dates (Feb. 21 to March 8, then Western Canada shows (March 10-17), more US gigs, and then April/May shows in Ottawa, Montreal, and Ontario, concluding on May 5 at Massey Hall. Itinerary here
Publicity: Ken Beattie, Killbeat