Phantom sounds: Andy Shauf begins prepping for new full-length album

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Regina’s Andy Shauf to return to Saskatoon for MoSoFest on Saturday, June 14

Located on the outskirts of Dresden, Germany, Castle Röhrsdorf cuts an imposing figure on the landscape. The building, which was first mentioned at this location as far back as the 14th century, has seen its fair share of history: It is rumoured that the castle was the site of meetings of anti-Nazi resistance groups through the latter part of World War II until it was taken over by the Soviet Red Army in 1948. From then until 1989 the Castle reportedly served as a school for agriculture before being renovated into a hotel and restaurant.

Nowadays Castle Röhrsdorf is a musicians hotel and a recording studio. And, if you believe the stories from those who work and live there, it’s also haunted.

Regina indie folk musician Andy Shauf had stayed at the castle as part of a residency in early 2014, and says that while he was recording some sessions for a new full-length album his band had some of their own ghostly encounters.

“Pretty much everyone in the band had something weird happen,” says Shauf. “There were things like digital interference, ghost interference over things like Skype. It sounded hokie to me at the time. It still does. But there were lots of ghost stories from the staff.”

But despite the supposed-hauntings, Shauf says that he and his crew did get some good sessions down on tape, even if they didn’t finish the album as he had originally planned.

“We didn’t get as far as I would have liked but it was a good learning experience,” says Shauf, who adds that he may finish recording the album at his home studio.

Shauf, who is opening for Timber Timbre at MoSoFest on Saturday, June 14 at the Broadway Theatre, released his last album, The Bearer of Bad News, at the end of 2012. Featuring melancholic melodies over simplistic guitar picking, Shauf is a soulful touch, opening up, but without being too heart-on-sleeve or on the nose.

And for his new material, Shauf says that stylistically fans can expect much of the same, albeit with completely new musical elements.

“It’s going to have a similar aesthetic in that it will be minimalistic,” he says. “But I don’t really want to do the same thing, which is acoustic guitar and clarinet. So I’ve been diving into the world of synthesizers and drum machines, which sounds scary but it will likely be more similar-sounding than I think it will.

“I think this time around we are going into this with the idea that other people will be playing with me. When we did Bearer of Bad News I arranged a lot of the songs so that they could stand alone without a band. This time I’m trying to write more songs so that there will be more instruments used to spread out the writing.”

As for when we can expect the new full-length, Shauf says that it may not make an appearance any time soon – good things can’t be rushed, right?

“I’m at the point where I just want to let it happen when it happens. I’m just hoping it won’t take four years like it did last time.”

– Catch Andy Shauf, along with Timber Timbre, at the Broadway Theatre on June 14 for MoSoFest.