Andy Shauf Evokes Nostalgia and Unique Craftsmanship with "The Neon Skyline"
Andy Shaufs’ first album in four years is a breath of fresh life for some listeners and everything they love about him for others. With tastes of inspiration from the likes of sixties popular music and conceptual storytelling, The Neon Skyline has something for everyone. The concept album is being released January 24 through Anti Records. Similar conceptually to his breakout success The Party, The Neon Skyline varies sonically with more simple elements and an upbeat feel. Shauf is no stranger to concept albums while his 2016 release The Party was focused on different points of views from the likes of attendees at a party, The Neon Skyline is no different with the theme from a familiar dive bar and being aware that an old fling of his is back in town.
Tracks like “Where Are You Judy?” and “Dust Kids” shed a new light on Shauf’s discography with Jazzy tones and an acoustic drive that sticks out from the rest of the album and his career. Being one of the most eccentric songs on the album, “Dust Kids” is a song within a boozy conversation between two bar patrons about children recalling their past lives. Reminiscing over an old lover that Shauf will never be over, “Where Are You Judy?” is the jazzy reflective love song that evokes a tsunami of emotions out of the listener.
Andy Shauf created dozens of tunes in preparation for a story that addresses an autobiographical, romantic, and past life crisis. The story’s protagonist meets up with his friend Charlie at their local dive bar The Skyline, where the bartender Rose serves them their normal drinks. Being informed by Rose that his ex-girlfriend Judy is back in town he focuses into past scenes from their relationship and eventually accepts the heartbreak and time elapse that has occured. Narrowing the dozens of songs he initially wrote for what could be on the album he chose 11 that he thought stuck closest to the arch he was wanting to tell.
With much of the album being very hypnotic and sonically engaging along with Shauf’s soft vocals, the songs create a dream-like feel that is a work of art. The Neon Skyline is also an album that is rewarding when you follow the lyrics. Dylan-esque, crafting a line between poetry and a screenplay, Shauf’s unconventional and distinct lyricism blends dialogue along with the lack of choruses that works wonderfully.
Shauf plans to hit the road in February in Columbus, Ohio promoting The Neon Skyline and embarking on what is going to be a roller coaster of a ride for him and fans. The story that The Neon Skyline tells is one that we all can find familiar. Using his poetic license exceptionally, Shauf takes us on a journey through our past lives, lovers, and boozy conversations that can be a treat when revisited.