The Fresh Five: Andy Shauf, Puck, Billy Nomates, Lonnie Holley, and Xylouris White
Canadian songwriter Andy Shauf has been on my radar ever since 2021’s excellent album Wilds. I am pleased to hear he’s following up with a new record, Norm (his 8th full length) out of 2/10 via ANTI (pre order). I’m already obsessed with the tracks available so far, especially “Catch Your Eye” in which Shauf expresses an intense sense of longing through a delicately gorgeous melody and falsetto vocals. It doesn’t hurt that the accompanying video was produced by another of my favorite Canadian artists, Chad Van Gaalen.
Puck is a Washington-born, NYC transplant who has worked as a pianist for SAZ and Maggie Rogers. Puck released their debut solo record this past year Best Friend and it contains this excellent dream pop gem “Hope” (stay for the whole thing as the song evolves into a funk ditty before eventually deconstructing into giggles. Find more music here.
I originally figured Billy Nomates name must be pronounced similarly to “tomato” (i.e. “nomat-ays.”) I have since realized that she took on the name after someone insulted her solo outing at a club (ie. no mates). It’s Nomates who has the last laugh in the end, her recent record CACTI is a triumphant blend of post punk, electronic, and pop. Stream/purchase the whole thing here.
Multi-format experimental artist Lonnie Holley has had a very long and storied career, including in music. He’s got a gorgeous track out from his forthcoming record Oh Me Oh My (3/10 Jagjaguwar). The self-titled single features collaboration from Michael Stipe REM) and the rest of the record promises many more notable collaborators including Moor Mother, Bon Iver, Sharon Van Etten, and more!).
In 2016 Xylouris White (collab between legendary Dirty Three drummer Jim White and Greek virtuoso Giorgos Xylouris) released one of my favorite records of the year, the incredible Black Peak. I haven’t really kept track of them since but was happy to stumble across a press release recently highlighting the duo’s forthcoming new album The Forest In Me (Drag City). Only a scant less than 90 second song is all that has been made available thus far but it’s already made an impression. “Latin White” is a buoyant little scamper over lyra and lute strings set to White’s irrepressible rhythm.