Well there was no way I wasn’t going to be sharing THIS. (Joseph) Shabason and (Nicholas) Krgovich, along with Chris Harris, made one of my favorite albums of 2020, Philadelphia, and have continued on a wild hot streak of creative projects of their own since then, such as this year’s Fresh Pepper. Collectively, these projects have brought me a lot of peace, as well as humor and intrigue during a time when these things are at a deficit. Not to go into “we need distractions from the nightmare around us”, but it’s refreshing to have such earnest music right now. Well, Shabason & Krgovich are back with a new album, At Scaramouche, out October 7 via Idée Fixe Records (who, as a reminder, also put out Evan J Cartwright’s fantastic bit by bit this year, which you should check out as well). The new single + video have me EXCITED for this album.
The first single from the project, “I Am So Happy With My Little Dog”, opens the door to a more upbeat and active mood that will likely follow with the rest of the album, juxtaposed with the slower, more introspective Philadelphia. Not only does this track feature a more upbeat tempo with driving bass, percussion and bright synths, but it eventually opens up instrumentally with a delightfully goofy guitar solo with all the right goofy sour notes, a chorus of winds and backing vocals. Krgovich’s lead vocals and lyrics remain smooth and likewise observational, and poetic, and humorous (that overpriced candle is sure smelling good – I know the feeling) enhancing the mundane, but this new furnishing around the storytelling is a welcome change, even after how much I loved the dreamy glide of Philadelphia. Where that album was like pondering undulating water reflections shining into your home through open curtains, At Scaramouche is shaping up to be more like jumping into said pool with friends after a relaxing day at a museum.
There’s something magic about this pairing, and going deeper, this scene of Canadian musicians (usually put forth via Idée Fixe, Telephone Explosion + more) that have been really locking into a joyous, groovy and forward-thinking route of songwriting and expression. It has not gone unnoticed by your U.S. friend here.
Shabason & Krgovich’s At Scaramouche is out Oct 7 via Idée Fixe Records. Pre-order it HERE.