Toronto singer/songwriter Andy Shauf has shared two new tracks, “Satan” and “Jacob Rose,” as a double single, along with a video for “Satan” directed by Canadian filmmaker Ryan Steel. The songs and video arrive following the release of Shauf’s 2021 surprise full length Wilds, making this single the first new material we’ve heard from him this year.
Stripping things back to only the absolute basics, “Satan” and “Jacob Rose” see Shauf armed with nothing but guitar and drums, telling cautionary tales of devils with candy bars and a boy who accidentally stabs himself out of curiosity. The former track sees him deciding that the temptation to take Halloween candy from the devil is too great, declaring that the swim in the lake of fire is worth it: “One long disciplined life and at the end/I’m taking my shoes off and jumping in.” The juxtaposition between the violent lyrics and gentle, inviting slide guitar lines catches you off guard immediately, and the results are simultaneously disturbing and laugh-out-loud funny.
In a press statement, Shauf talked about his religious upbringing and the inspiration behind “Satan”:
When I was young, there were a few years where I wasn’t allowed to celebrate Halloween. The church that I grew up in was saying that Hallowe’en was “The Devil’s Day” and that it had its roots in satanic rituals. After a few years of this, my parents realized it was a bit silly to deny us our free candy and let us resume. The Christianity that I was brought up in said that believers went to heaven and non-believers went to hell. A sort of cartoon-like simplification of ancient texts. So with the lyrics of this song, I was trying to take this cartoon-like simplification of life (and death) and pair it with a cartoon-like version of this Christian hell. Where after you complete a long and disciplined life, you find yourself holding a bite-sized chocolate bar stapled to an invitation to a Halloween pool party with Satan himself.
Shauf is gearing up to head out on tour beginning this month, first making the rounds around North America with Yves Jarvis, Haley Heyndrickx, Helena Deland and Cassandra Jenkins on different dates before playing shows in the U.K. and Europe with Helena Deland in April and May.
Check out the music video for “Satan” and listen to “Jacob Rose” below, and keep scrolling to revisit Shauf’s 2020 Paste Studios session.