Quality Not Quantity: Andy Shauf - Joon Moon - Jenny Gillespie

Andy Shauf - The Magician.

Background promo - On May 20th, Anti- is excited to release an immensely imaginative work from acclaimed young singer-songwriter Andy Shauf called The Party.

The Saskatchewan-based Shauf recorded his first album at home and toured Western Canada playing DIY punk venues with an acoustic guitar. In 2015 he gained attention with a an album called The Bearer of Bad News that NPR called one of “2015's most breathtaking albums” and “an appropriately titled collection of mostly grim tales about small town drug addicts, murderous lovers and other weary underachievers.”

With The Party, Shauf masterfully creates a cast of memorable and unique characters. They show up “Early to the Party,” reveal secrets (“To You”) or try to reveal nothing (“The Magician.”) In “a city the size of a dinner plate,” everyone knew the guy who keeled over after smoking what he promised would be his last pack of cigarettes (“Alexander All Alone.”) There’s the girl dancing by herself in the middle of the room, with the “Eyes of Them All” upon her. One moment you’re dancing with someone who bears an uncanny resemblance to your ex (“Martha Sways,”) and later slagging your best friend as way of endearing yourself to his recently dumped ex (“Quite Like You”).

All of this is set to ornate arrangements of fuzzed-out guitars, string sections, clarinets and dreamy synths, all draped over delicate piano, acoustic guitars and rainy-day drums. The Party is not exactly a concept record, but it was a way for the singer-songwriter to get out of his own head. An after-party record, more like it. Or for the hangover the next day, when only Shauf’s songs can make any sense of the emotionally-charged scenarios that played out the night before.

When The Party was over, Shauf had no regrets—even if its characters have more than a few. You’re invited to The Party. It’s one you’ll never forget. Andy Shauf will be touring extensively in Europe in the next few months. He is set to open for The Lumineers on their highly anticipated European tour this April and May. He will also be doing headlining shows and festivals, including the Primavera festival in Barcelona (ES). 

'The Magician' is getting a lot of attention, which is hardly surprising as it's such a wonderful song. A foretaste of the 'The Party' album due out in May, it's really nice when a song gets you excited and in anticipation of what's to follow.


Joon Moon - Call Me (Radio Edit).

Background promo - Joon Moon's story started in 2014 in Montmartre, Paris, in the studio of the excessively discreet Julien Decoret - with Phoebe Killdeer giving breath to his first lyric sheets. The indefatigable Moon's aim was to continue creating, after touring with Nouvelle Vague, Florent Marchet etc, and start his own project.

Joon Moon have announced their upcoming EP Call Me coming out March 25, 2016 on Kwaidan Records / !K7.  With the announcement they shared the title track of their EP along with US tour dates, see below.

With all the creative decisions already made for keyboards, vocals and drums, Julien joined up with his pals Raphael Chassin and Sébastien Trouvé for both the studio recording and stage show that they had already collectively imagined. In early 2015, thanks to chance encounters and other musically-minded friends like Marc Collin and Hugh Coltman, Julien Decoret met another artist with an impressive live show (and someone just as reserved as he is) - Krystle Warren, born in Kansas City and recently arrived in France.

The four had mutual friends, and after a few try-outs in the studio and a misunderstanding about a certain Alice / Juliette Lewis (a story that makes them all laugh even today) a real synergy came to pass, with Joon Moon the result - both in the studio and on stage.

Their first EP Chess, released late 2015, showcases a mix of precise and impressive pop and soul arrangements, hinting that the album due in 2016 will be an exciting discovery, joyfully crashing through numerous musical barriers. A word of warning though - the siren-like voice of Krystle Warren may have you addicted to Joon Moon before you know it!

The song 'Call Me' gently starts out with delicate keyboards and beautiful vocals. It then builds into a really fine piece with the various instruments all adding an extra dimension.


Jenny Gillespie - Dhyana By The River.

Background promo - Jenny Gillespie returns with her new single 'Dhyana By The River', ahead of the UK release of Cure For Dreaming.

Cure for Dreaming was recorded in autumn 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. Featuring musicians such as Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann,) drummer Jay Bellerose (Robert Plant and Allison Krauss’ Raising Sand), guitarist Chris Bruce (Meshell Ndgeocello,), guitarist Gerry Leonard (David Bowie) and pedal steel player Greg Leisz (Lucinda Williams, Bon Iver), the album blends an earnest folk sensibility with experimental flavourings of progressive jazz and sunny R&B-flavoured pop - think Minnie Riperton, Fairport Convention, and Shuggie Otis.

The songs span a variety of landscapes, from a warm Venice boardwalk with its “chakra hucksters” to a woman’s solitary, spiritual rebirth on the banks of an East Coast river in “Dhyana by the River" while themes of motherhood, marriage, spirituality and dying enter into the music through the medium of playful and conversational language. Characters weave in and out of the songs - such as the brooding loner drawn to the masculine expressions of his ancestry of “Part Potawatomi”, or the cheerful artist facing death in “Last Mystery Train.”, and the music itself is loose, warm, and memorable, pulling off an undercurrent of occasional instrumental and melodic wildness not often found in modern day pop.

'Dhyana By The River' showcases Jenny's definitive vocals right from the start. The song twists and turns as the music keeps things coherent underscoring what is quite a remarkable piece.