Andrew Phelan “Sharks” is an Americana and Bluegrass combo pop rock track. The lyrics are questioning and introspective. “Sharks” arrangement is standard rock; two guitars, bass, drums, and a vocal take. Though standard in instrumentation the arrangement also features a lot of chords often overlooked by your run of the mill songwriter in terms of tensions and rhythmic choices. The outro is the selling point for me with the chopping rhythms on both the down and upbeats that makes the world feel like it is shaking around you. Andrew Phelan “Sharks” is for fans of just left of center acts that feature distorted guitars but polished vocals, you wouldn’t find it on top 40 but you could find it on alternative or public channels.
“Andrew 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.
The album was completed 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 Andrew to revisit the cause and consequence of their formation. “They benefit from a space where they can be heard,” says Andrew, “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 Andrew’s growth as an artist and as a composer.”