Cover image for The Party [compact disc] / Andy Shauf.
The Party [compact disc] / Andy Shauf.
Publication Information:
[United States] : Anti/Epitaph, 2016.
Physical Description:
1 sound disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact disc.

The magician Early to the party Twist your ankle Quite like you Begin again The worst in you To you Eyes of them all Alexander all alone Martha sways.
The fourth album from Andy Shauf is a series of character sketches, ostensibly set at a specific gathering. On it, awkward characters show up early to the party, dance in the living room, and either reveal life-changing secrets or try their hardest to reveal nothing at all. Fuzzed-out guitars collide with string sections and dreamy synths, all draped over delicate piano, acoustic guitars and rainy-day drums.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
GEN SHA Music CD Adult Music CD

On Order



By the time Andy Shauf's lonesome prairie pop debut, Bearer of Bad News, had reached the rest of the world, the Saskatchewan native had nearly completed recording his similarly intricate follow-up. After receiving a small-scale Canadian release in 2012, the album went on to make critical waves three years later thanks to a reissue by American indie Tender Loving Empire. Just over a year later comes The Party, another hyper-detailed set of literate indie pop songs produced and almost entirely performed by Shauf. The ten loosely conceptual vignettes revolve around the characters at a party, presumably in the microcosm of small-town Saskatchewan. As he displayed on his debut, Shauf has a knack for creating a lived-in, intimate world and his carefully constructed pop arrangements support his provincial narratives and observations. With the hushed darkness of Elliott Smith and the ornate sophistication of the High Llamas, he unfurls tales of jealousy, drunken confessions, humiliations, and burdensome early arrivals. The production is meticulously crafted and strangely dry, with paper-thin drums that pop as lightly as plucked guitar strings and warm clarinet stacks weaving in and out. While there are definitely standouts, like the elegant opener "The Magician" and the jangling "The Worst in You," The Party requires the patience to be digested in its full form. In terms of craft and vision, Shauf has got both in spades, and while stylistically similar to his debut, he's made adjustments and broken new ground here as well. His idiosyncratic, mumbled vocal delivery might occasionally make understanding the lyrics a bit of a challenge, but it's also one of his unique distinctions and with The Party, he's added another strong outing to his canon. ~ Timothy Monger