At one time or another, whether you had any musical talent or not, you probably dreamed of starting a band with your best friends.
This November, Andy Shauf did just that. Two years after the release of his critically acclaimed solo album The Party, Shauf revoked his solo status to start the indie-rock band Foxwarren with childhood friends Dallas Bryson (guitar), Darryl Kissick (bass), and Avery Kissick (drums). Named after the Kissick brothers’ hometown in Manitoba, Foxwarren’s chemistry goes beyond a few sentimentally inspired studio sessions. The band first took shape over a decade ago, and although the individual members have had autonomous careers up until now, this album has been slow-cooking on the back-burner since the band’s inception. Lucky for us, the Canadian crew is finally ready to release their collaboration to the listening world.
Andy Shauf’s stint with Foxwarren incorporates an investigative curiousness normally absent from his meticulously branded solo work. It’s clear that the camaraderie normally missing from his individualistic recordings has allowed Shauf to liberally experiment alongside creatively provocative friends. Reflections of iconic artists like Paul Simon or George Harrison shine brightly as Shauf takes on a semi-recognizable identity compared to his incredibly distinctive solo work. Similar to Simon and Harrison, Shauf has always retained a captivating weirdness that won over his fans’ adoration. Shauf’s place within a collective band promotes fringe similarities to that weirdness fans are used to, yet is distinctly different enough where fans can wholeheartedly appreciate his divergence from the mean. Dallas Bryson and the Kissick brothers are clearly pushing Shauf’s buttons, forcing him to apply his ever-engaging peculiarities in a more imaginative and eclectic manner.
When push comes to shove however, this is not Shauf’s album. Every member of Foxwarren has something evident to contribute, and each track’s disparate resonance underlines the open candor behind each individual’s imperative worth. Foxwarren’s Bandcamp page does well to explain the gregariousness scattered throughout their debut album, saying “It captures the feeling of friends pushing each other, of a band looking inward for inspiration instead of outward for influence.” It’s obvious this group wasn’t just reuniting for sociability’s sake – Shauf, Bryson, and the Kissick brothers have a collective charisma that each would struggle to find within themselves.
Favorite Tracks: To Be, Sunset Canyon, Fall Into A Dream, In Another Life, Everything Apart