Posts Tagged ‘Avery Kissick’

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Andy Shauf’s excellent 2016 album The Party – a wallflower indie pop concept album about the depressing aspects of drinking and socializing – brought his approach and sound to the mainstream, making fans eager for his next offering. For Toronto-via-Saskatchewan’s multi-instrumentalist baroque pop prince, it comes in the form of a self-titled debut from his hometown band, Foxwarren. Actually, this is technically Foxwarren’s sophomore album, but Shauf has been rather secretive about the group’s past work.

From a musical standpoint, Foxwarren – featuring Shauf’s ethereal, honey-toned, voice and his acoustic guitar, his childhood friends D.A. and Avery Kissick and Dallas Bryson – is quite similar to the sound of The Party. Still, Foxwarren doesn’t feel like Andy Shauf and his backing band; it feels like a creative, cohesive group.

Opening track To Be sets up the themes of the album without hesitation. Much like Shauf’s solo work, motifs of isolation, depression and other sombre notes live within the songs.

The instrumentation is eccentrically diverse and well thought out. Foxwarren seems to be a band that, at times, throws traditional song convention out the window. Everything Apart begins with a lone, steady snare drum and morphs into an almost psychedelic organ prog rock epic, then blissfully comes to a close with a standard indie guitar line. It takes tremendous production skill to make those jumps seem effortless.

The album does, however, have its fault with the song I’ll Be Alright, featuring Shauf and his acoustic. It sounds like a B-side of his solo work and falls slightly flat when compared to a song like Fall Into A Dream, a jumpy groove that makes perfect use of its indie funk guitar riff and angelic harmonies. The song brings to mind the early days of George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, highlighting a droney, psychotropic jam between the Kissick brothers, Bryson and Shauf.

I truly hope Foxwarren remains one of the main projects for Shauf. While he certainly didn’t take a back seat during Foxwarren’s process, it’s refreshing hearing him in a new, collaborative light.

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Foxwarren

Foxwarren comprises Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf (please check out his solo albums) along with his childhood friends Dallas Bryson and brothers Darryl Kissick and Avery Kissick. Last year, they released a self-titled debut album, and today are announcing their first-ever tour, which kicks off in their hometown of Regina, Saskatchewan at the end of May. To celebrate, the band have a brand new video for the dreamy “Sunset Canyon.” Directed by Laura-Lynn Petrick, the video is shot through a warmly lit vintage filter, capturing a glamorous cruise along the winding California hillside.

The video features actress turned talk show host and honest-to-God amazing person –– Busy Philipps. “Working with Laura-Lynn on the video was so amazing,” says Philipps in a press release. “She is such a talent and I loved the easy going vibe of the day, wandering through the canyon with her in my mom’s dress from the sixties.”This track from Foxwarren just fits the aesthetic faultlessly.

“Sunset Canyon” by Foxwarren from the self-titled album, available now on Anti- and Arts & Crafts

This group of siblings and childhood friends originally formed more than a decade ago. Growing up in scattered small towns across the Canadian prairies, Andy Shauf, Dallas Bryson, and brothers Darryl Kissick and Avery Kissick eventually found themselves under one roof in Regina, Saskatchewan, where they completed work on what became this album: Foxwarren. 

In the release of Andy Shauf’s side-band debut album, nearly a decade in the making, there is much of The Party’s deserved success. The style of the record is very much in the vein of Andy’s solo release, again a blend of Elliott Smith’s attitude and vocal style and a taste for 70s songwriting and arrangements (Randy Newman being a personal hero for the Canadian).

Foxwarren is a nice compendium to The Party, in the sense that all those who were left enchanted by that record will likely appreciate this new one. There are some more “self-standing” instrument themes, like the sparkling guitar riff in ‘Fall Into A Dream’ or the motoric arrangement of ‘Everything Apart’, where Andy peeks into a slightly more modern, “experimental” songwriting style.

The Party had a revivalist style and it was a record that clearly was produced and created by a single mind. Despite not being cutting-edge avant-garde or the best song Andy’s written, ‘Everything Apart’ promises, instead, possible fruitful interactions with other creative minds.

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In general, all the songs probably lack the conceptual allure of The Party’s almost cinematic setting, or even the melodic clarity of Andy’s previous songs. So Foxwarren represents a sort of B-side collection to his solo record, and maybe also a way to close a very relevant artistic period.

Released November 30th, 2018
Foxwarren is:
Dallas Bryson,
Avery Kissick,
Darryl Kissick,
Andy Shauf,

all songs written and arranged by Foxwarren