Andy Shauf’s Norm
by Nic Olson
I was lucky to work with Andy as a ‘story editor’ on his upcoming album, Norm. Patrick Hosken from MTV felt that talking to me was a good idea. Buy Andy’s new record tomorrow, February 10.
From Patrick’s article:
This kind of narrative experimentation called for an extra set of eyes on the story itself. Shauf enlisted his longtime Saskatchewan friend Nic Olson, a writer and poet who has also worked the merch table on Shauf’s tours, as a story editor. “We were texting about hockey playoffs or something like that,” Olson says, and then Shauf sent him a Google Doc. Olson saw the narrative laid out via the lyrics to each song, focusing only on the forward momentum of the Norm concept without hearing a single note of music.
“I made suggestions that were trying not to pressure him to feel like he needed to explain himself,” Olson says. “Smaller edits and just basic different words that could be replaced instead of additions, knowing that the lyrics were probably already written into the length and melody of the song.” Some of those tweaks involved swapping pronouns to clarify those changing narrators. Olson, who’s currently a law student, loved the idea of working as an editor on an album of recorded music; he deeply understands how crucial the refining process can be. “It kind of blows my mind if it’s not happening [regularly] because in my experiences of writing, if I don’t have an editor, shit goes so sideways, and it’s so hard to really effectively get your ideas across.”
Read the full article here: Andy Shauf, Storytelling Songwriter, At The Halloween Store