Singer/songwriter Andy Shauf's dark, rustic tales of the Canadian prairie blend folk with sophisticated pop, reflecting his upbringing in Regina, Saskatchewan.
He became interested in music as a teenager, teaching himself guitar, drums, piano, and any other instruments he came across. The songs he wrote and recorded in his parents' basement eventually culminated in a collection of demos called Darker Days, which he self-released in 2009. Citing influences like Wilco
, Elliott Smith
, and Neil Young
, Shauf's hushed, lyrical songs have a keen focus on arrangement. He spent the following two years painstakingly recording his first proper album, Bearer of Bad News, which he released in late 2012. The album was critically well-received and over the coming two years he expanded his touring range throughout North America, eventually heading to Europe as well. In January 2015, Bearer of Bad News was re-released by the Portland, Oregon-based label Tender Loving Empire
. His follow-up was constructed in a similarly intricate manner, with the initial 2014 full-band sessions later being scrapped in favor of Shauf's preferred method of recording and arranging each instrument himself. The result was 2016's The Party, another literate, detailed pop gem that saw a U.S. release via the ANTI-
label, with Arts & Crafts
handling the record in Canada. ~ Timothy Monger, Rovi