A couple weeks ago, Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf released a single “Spanish on the Beach.” It seemed like a one-off song, but now he’s returned with its follow-up track and news of a new album called Wilds that’s coming out on Friday. Wilds is the follow-up to last year’s Neon Skyline, which was self-recorded with a small tape machine in his Toronto studio.
While “Spanish on the Beach” was a track willing itself to stay in a romantic moment for eternity, “Jaywalker” is a bit more sullen. Here, Shauf shows off his storytelling talents, setting the listener up for a shocking—while simultaneously subtle—climax before letting our imagination do the rest. “Jaywalker with your head hung low, you never saw it coming,” Shauf sings at the end of every verse. The space between that central line and the final verse allows us to imagine a collision. “Woke up confused in a hospital gown with your arm in a sling and nobody around,” he sings. “Dreamed about Judy, she was driving a car / You were crossing the street, didn’t get very far.” Shauf continues to demonstrate how he sews his storytelling and songwriting into a formidable seam.
Not only is this one of Shauf’s strongest songs to date, but it also comes with an incredible lyric video featuring a cat, which lounges in grass with a resting bitch face and rolls around stealthily beneath a car (thankfully the cat is not harmed in the making of the video like the protagonist is in the single).
Listen to “Jaywalker” below, and pre-order Wilds—which is out September 24 via ANTI- Records—here.