By: Staff –
Andrew Phelan (formerly of The River & The Road) is back with his new solo single “Sharks” from his upcoming EP, Everything Rattles When I Breathe, and you can stream it exclusively via Aesthetic Magazine below.
“Sharks is about trusting the feeling deep in your gut when you can’t seem to trust the person you are looking at,” says Phelan. “Because you are usually right. It’s in the eyes, the coldness of something just looking for a meal. That animal part of your brain can give more than you realize.”
Phelan knows something about community and the search for it. Originally from Australia, he came to Canada to further deepen the roots of his creative process when it came to honing his craft. After a remarkable period where he gained recognition with the critically acclaimed alt-folk band The River & The Road – he took some time for himself, to find his own path, his own community. It’s something that he searches for to this day, though some might say that he’s found it within the cozy folk clubs and dive bars of his new home of Vancouver. It’s also the inspiration behind his new album “Everything Rattles When I Breathe” – the self-produced opus of self-discovery and the key arresting moments of life. And, like community, the collection of songs that he has brought together rely on each other for support – conceived with the intention that they are all communicating with each other in the same way that they communicate with the listener.
Each song on the album was constructed as a comforting, and cautionary tale. It’s an honest and vulnerable record, a footnote to the last four years of his life when he toured the world, received a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination and shared stages with the likes of Shakey Graves and Sam Roberts. That, coupled with the experiences he has taken in as an observer of broken hearts and abused trust, has shaped the feel to his new music. It’s too loud, lusty and strident for a folk record – but it’s too tender and exposed for a rock record. It’s music to dance to, to cry to, to break hearts to, to get drunk to, music to get sober to. These songs cover the realms of homesickness, love-sickness, distance, substance abuse, death, youth, and more.
Phelan completed the album in only six sessions with Harley Small (Peach Pit) taking the engineering reigns, mixed by Colin Stuart (Dan Mangan/The New Pornographers), and mastered by Stuart McKillop (The Pack A.D./Comeback Kid) – these new songs were created to play live, for Phelan to revisit the cause and consequence of their formation. “They benefit from a space where they can be heard,” says Phelan, “I wrote these to give to people, they were written during touring moments, and travelling home to Australia, and finding my feet in Canada. They were recorded in a small room blocks from the crawl space I lived in when I first moved to Vancouver, with two close friends in a way that was most playable to a room of people.” Full of folk lyricism, loud live band instrumentation, and more dynamics than is often accepted on an album such as this – “Everything Rattles When I Breathe” is a testament to Phelan’s growth as an artist and as a composer.