Reviews

Andy Shauf
The Neon Skyline

(Anti)

8/10

Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf has been chipping away at his strand of storytelling for over a decade now. His previous solo album, The Party, featured sharp observations as its narrator tried his best to fit in at a house party. After making a record with his hometown band Foxwarren last year, Shauf evolves his solo career with another intimate concept album, using a micro lens to explore universal emotions on The Neon Skyline.

The premise of the story is fairly straightforward: set in a small town, the narrator drags his friend out to the bar one evening before hearing that his ex is back in town. Thrown by this news, he looks back on moments from the relationship. At first closing his eyes and trying to recapture a faded feeling on the pensive ‘Clove Cigarettes’, he then dissects the break-up on the woozy ‘Thirteen Hours’. Shauf echoes Kurt Vile on ‘Things I Do’ as he brushes the lead single along with simple piano and guitar accompaniments; there are also Soccer Mommy-sounding notes to the album’s mellow final phase.

Featuring a refrain that morphs in meaning as the song unfolds, ‘The Moon’ is seamlessly beautiful. Throughout the record, Shauf’s warm melodies and dry humour make the atmosphere inside The Neon Skyline feel tangible. The brilliance of unrushed pub talk is captured on ‘Dust Kids’ (“Have I ever talked to you about reincarnation?”, a friend asks); and when the narrator’s old love finally arrives at the bar, the pair’s conversational missteps are delicately observed.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.