We’ve all been to crowded house parties. When we want a breather from the noise, we might hang back by the kitchen with an open beer while a friend-of-a-friend or a stranger might gregariously chat with you before finding the bathroom or the cooler. And if this scene were written into a concept album, it’d sound like Andy Shauf’s 'The Party'.

The muted colors of a strummed acoustic guitar, the clarinets, and the string arrangements paint an introspective mood across the record as Shauf looks outwards at (and through) the people. He mixes short, detailed strokes with broad ones to depict these characters, their stories, and their motivations.

Shauf recorded much of 'The Party' in his parents’ basement in Saskatchewan, Canada. His chamber-pop arrangements on songs like “The Magician” is for anything but a party. His music’s reflective feels reminiscent of Elliot Smith’s melancholia while laid-back songs like “Quite Like You” or “Begin Again” sound inspired by ‘70s songwriters like Harry Nilsson.

And, maybe, in turn, Shauf has made this party his by writing about its melodrama humorously. 

Listen below: 

Words by Colin S. Smith. 
Keep up with Andy Shauf here