Discovering a captivating story or a beautifully composed tune is always a fine day, indeed. With Toronto musician Andy Shauf, we find both. Shauf’s last album, The Party, was his first concept album and it raised quite a few glasses. It featured a collection of song-stories revolving around the same set of characters, all at the same party on one night. His most recent album, The Neon Skyline (via ANTI-) listens like a novel, each song a chapter. The musician’s second concept album follows characters like our sad narrator, his ex-girlfriend Judy and his best bud Charlie throughout the course of one evening. The album takes Shauf’s storytelling and composition style to a new level. Songs are rich with woodwinds, multi-textural melodies and unique vocal inflections that evoke a sad Paul Simon feel.
We talked with Shauf about his shift into the land of storytelling, the inspirations that led him there and a bit about his writing process. Shauf shared, too, about coming of age in Regina, Saskatchewan and how his musical stylings have shifted and continue moving in new directions. After the jazz-kissed gentle folk pop (dubbed “alternative”) Neon Skyline, what’s next? “Disco, maybe,” he jokes. Who knows?