What Nagmeh Phelan is Listening To:
Deep in the stew of your own melancholy is where Andy Shauf’s music lives and lingers. And just when you think its affects have subsided, it jolts you in some mundane life moment. The Canadian singer-songwriter usually writes songs full of deep conversation, close friends and old flames - told as a story, his albums unfold song by song like the chapters of a book. Plagued by regret, each song is like a memory. It’s restrained and moody soft-rock, betraying intense thoughts with Shauf’s wistful, hushed voice.
Shauf’s new concept album The Neon Skyline takes place over the span of a night, as did his last solo record, 2016’s The Party. It’s full of drinking, ex’s, jealous arguments, flashbacks and dreams of starting over. Every poet's dream. And of course I'm listening to it on repeat.
The Neon Skyline is the kind of album that becomes more rewarding with every listen. It’s the small hidden moments that get missed like words meant to mean more between friends. Misunderstandings, revelations, smokey and romantic, Shauf’s music is like a favourite book for sure! Every album is a gem. And as someone who loves music and genuinely depends on it for mental health, I can say that this is some of the best.
Nagmeh Phelan is a first-generation Canadian. Her work has appeared in Room, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, Minola Review and was featured in the Autumn 2021 issue of The Fiddlehead. Find her @somesomersaults on Twitter.