16 August 2011

God Bless Campus Radio...

‎The 'Elegy' album is #4 this week on the CJSR 88.5 FM's Fok/Roots/Blues Chart (and #30 overall) at Earshot-Online!  God bless Campus Radio!

Check out the charts at http://www.earshot-online.com/charts/cjsr.cfm?intChartTypeID=7&dWeekOfID=2011-08-16

12 July 2011

Independent Music News Review of 'Running' from the "Elegy" Album

Just received a new review of the track 'Running' from Independent Music News in the UK:

Hello Independent Music News fans/readers. Guess who’s back to scare you with satirical madness? Frankenstein esque reviewer Daniel Thomas. Yes he’s been resurrected from the grave of working 9 till 5 shifts as a pot-washer; I think that’s why I’m talking in third person, again. Announcing myself in third person ultimately means that soon I’ll be talking to the pots and pans that lurk on the side of disreputable dreams. Anyway who do we have today Daniel Thomas? (FUCK OFF YOU PRETENTIOUS TWAT, YOU’RE NOT GOD!). Anyway today I received this lovely email from the depths of internet supremacy from a gentleman, unbeknown to myself called – Shawn Crowle. So I decided to listen to review a track called – Running – because ultimately everyone is running away from something. Gather round readers, lets have a listen.

Running – like doughnut policemen. Is that Tom Waits running towards me? what have you got to say Tom? “Have you heard this gentleman called: Shawn Crowle? is he trying to copy my style?” and which I would reply, NO. Shawn Crowle may have the shrivelled voice box and acoustic style but there’s something different with his approach. He promotes every song like a nice walk in the park, disrupted by a homeless man looking for spare change. Two different worlds collide and ultimately poverty is left lying on the floor; like an old newspaper stuck on the window of an abandoned house. Shawn Crowle – I salute you for showing me ‘that’ different world in nearly 3 minutes of reality.

5 June 2011

Itunes Fan Review of the "Elegy" Album

A special thanks to DPGibbons for the very kind review on Itunes UK.

"If you've not listened to Shawn Crowle before, be prepared for something completely different. His music is probably the most radical you'll have heard in a long while - think Scott Walker, think Tom Waites, think of any artist who caused the hair on the back of your neck to stand up the first time you heard them - Shawn is one of those artists, one who polarises opinion, one who leaves a lasting impression.

If you like your music crammed full of emotion every inch of the way, Shawn's your man! Once you get over the shock of his radical approach to singing, the emotion in his voice will hit you like a freight train, relentless, harrowing at times - this isn't easy listening - you have to make an effort to get on the same wave-length, but once you do and once you make that connection you're in for pure joy.

The album opens with 'Once' - a gentle sensitive acoustic guitar and piano opening that sets the scene for a typical Shawn Crowe vocal. Shawn's lyrics are simple and to the point, but poetical at the same time and manage to conjure images that match the mood of the the music and vocal ' the old moon hanging careless', 'then we move into a storefront street' - this is a heady blend of tone-poem imagery, an artisitic delight.

'Running' is a tale of a man at the end of his tether, he can run no more and faces his fate 'I want to know where it's coming from'.

The album is full of images, of problems unresolved, of real lives and stories, of pain. 'The Girl on the edge of town' , 'The Baytown Boardwalk girl' , Eddie in 'The Rock & Roll Band' - all bought to vivid life, you can feel their lives in the emotional voice of Shawn Crowe.

A whole new dimension has just been added to popular music by Shawn Crowle and there is no going back. He walks a different path to anyone in contemporary music I've heard - if you're brave enough to walk that path with him, the musical rewards are immense."

Check out the album on Itunes and don't forget to stop by www.shawncrowle.com or facebook.


25 March 2011

FREE MP3 Download of "Running" from CDBaby

In celebration of the Grayowl Point review (see the March 16, 2011 post), visit www.cdbaby.com/cd/shawncrowle for a free mp3 download of “Running”, one of the top tracks off the debut, and check out the rest of the album on ItunesCDBaby, and AmazonMP3.

21 March 2011

Grayowl Point Review of "Elegy"

“For Shawn Crowle there is no in-between. You’ll either love this album or you’ll hate it. Whatever you do think of it, you’ll have to admit that he is a seriously unique Canadian voice.

Crowle is an experimental folk singer- as strange as that sounds. His music borders on Tom Waits territory. It’s truly something interesting to hear.

The musical arrangement of Crowle’s songs is usually pretty basic- a guitar or two and the occasional keys. This suits his album perfectly. An elegy is a mournful lament for the dead, and the songs conjure up images of a barren town covered in blowing dust. The guitar chords are simple and beautiful.

What will make a listener love or hate Crowle is his voice. I mentioned he’s somewhat like Tom Waits, in that his voice takes some getting used to. His voice is wheezy and raspy which could be a dealbreaker. And this is what makes him so interesting- his vocal style is radical, something you’ll be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

Overall, the album feels exactly like an elegy- each song feels like it is mourning the dead; there are even a few song titles about specific people. Crowle is truly a voice that you need to experience when you’ve think you’ve heard them all.

Top Tracks: “Running”; “The Rock & Roll Band”“

-Michael, Grayowl Point


19 March 2011

With a voice that most closely resembles...

In a recent review (see the March 14, 2010 post) my voice was compared to the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce (pictured left), front-man and founder of the influential 80s punk band, The Gun Club.  It’s not the first time I’ve been compared to punk artists, and while I’m not an avid listener of the genre, there is a lot that I respect about the early punk movement of the 1970s and early 1980s.
First and foremost was the emotion.  Many punk acts eschewed musicality in favor of emotion, and while the emotions themselves may be different (anger and rage vs. desolation and despondence), it’s something I’ve often done with my voice.  It’s more about the need to express something, or tell some story, instead of about musical virtuosity.  This isn’t to say that all punk bands lacked musical ability, Pierce was rooted heavily in reggae, blues and country while The Clash pulled elements from a wide range of genres into their music, they just didn’t let it get in the way of what they were trying to say.  You could go into the effects of dissonance and intonation on emotional response, etc. but you’d be over-analyzing it; there’s an emotional response, because there’s nothing in the way of the honest emotion - no effects, no frills, and no patched together takes.
The artists usually had a strict DIY ethic and minimalist approach.  In a way, the early punk were also some of the earliest indie lo-fi musicians, featuring stripped down instrumentation and straightforward songs.  The recordings were often self-produced, sometimes recorded on home-tapes or four-tracks and were usually intentionally unpolished, with the sole intention of sounding “real”.  They were often distributed solely through word of mouth and informal, underground channels. 
While nobody could ever mistake me for a punk artist, these are some of the elements that inspired me, and which I have drawn on for my own music and in particular for “Elegy”.

14 March 2011

Leicester Bangs Review of "Elegy"

A new album review of “Elegy” from the good folks at Leicester Bangs:

“With a voice that most closely resembles that of the late (and quite possibly great) Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Shawn Crowle certainly stands out in mannered singer-songwriter circles. His debut album, a conceptual piece revolving around a small town in decline is perfectly suited to his melancholy yelp, and although there’s an element of perseverance involved in truly understanding the lyrical complexity of Crowle’s words, there’s no doubting the despondency in which he wraps them. If desolation, sadness and a yarn or two appeals, then you may wish to investigate further.”

-Simon M., Leicester Bangs