Andy Shauf’s Reverse System of Song Arrangement

Newport freshman and Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf recorded The Bearer of Bad News (Amazon & Spotify) by himself in a basement in Regina, Saskatchewan. Discussing the album on WFUV a few months back, Shauf outlined his arrangement process. His stripped down style would make you think that he starts with one instrument and fills each song out until it feels right. However, he actually does the reverse…

“I’m not one to play things and layer and layer. I play something and then I take stuff away until it feels better. I usually end up with certain instruments through a whole song and then I take them away at certain points until it just feels like it’s at its core of what it needs. I don’t do too much adding, adding, adding till it’s done, its more figure out where it feels like it doesn’t need any more.”

Frequently compared to Elliott Smith, Shauf’s material is mellow, imaginative and lyrically rich. With his latest record, he mixes small prairie town stories, like his opener “Hometown Hero,” with personal stories like “Drink My Rivers” – a song about life on the road.

Shauf hits The Mercury Lounge on July 15th with The Weather Station before his Newport Folk Festival debut on Saturday, July 25th.