Saskatchewan singer Andy Shauf’s 2016 Polaris Music Prize contender, The Party, cemented his status as Canada’s foremost sad-eyed indie troubadour. And the intimate, isolated quality of his ’70s soft-rock serenades was reinforced by the fact that he self-produced the album and performed nearly all the instrumentation himself. But Shauf has always played well with others—his career has run parallel to his membership in Foxwarren, a band of college pals whose debut album was put on the back burner for the better part of a decade due to Shauf’s increasingly busy solo schedule. Their long-gestating, self-titled effort has one foot planted firmly in Shauf’s signature style (see: the haunted symphonic soul of “Lost in a Dream”) while using the other to tread into uncharted territory. On “Everything Apart,” Shauf and fellow guitarist Dallas Bryson let their smooth harmonies glide atop an electro-ticked motorik beat, forging the missing link between Krautrock and yacht rock; “Lost on You” is a synthy waltz that imagines the Midnight Cowboy theme being performed by malfunctioning robots. But Shauf’s eternally comforting voice is at the core of every track here, with “To Be” and “Your Small Town” making for especially fine additions to his deep repertoire of beautifully bummed-out ballads.


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