Live J. Briozo performance at the Phoenix Theater in Minneapolis
Photo by Neil Schloner

J. Briozo evolved out of a set of songs that Swallows’ lead singer Jeff Crandall wrote as the Minneapolis-based band was set to return to the studio to record their third full-length album, In the Shadow of the Seven Stars. The acoustic guitar- and piano-based songs that Jeff was working on were written from the perspective of a fictional singer-songwriter named J. Briozo, a persona loosely based his mother’s Portuguese ancestry.

Jeff wasn’t convinced at the time that this would be anything other than a studio project, assuming he’d play most of the parts, and he had no real intentions of conjuring up a band to perform the material.

However, as Swallows began recording In the Shadow of the Seven Stars in one studio, Jeff began recording the basic tracks for Deep in the Waves in another studio across town. Recognizing that his “solo” album had begun to take on a life of its own, Jeff decided to invite members of Swallows to add additional parts to the somewhat open frameworks he had laid out for the songs on the album.

The group composed their parts in the studio, creating psych-pop, rock, jazz, orchestral and folk arrangements for the songs. By the end of the tracking, it was clear that a compelling new sound had developed and a new band concept would needed to support it.

J. Briozo released Deep in the Waves on November 17, 2017.

In memory of Almerinda Irene (Briozo) Crandall (1938-2016)

Press Highlights

No Depression (Massachusetts)
Deep in the Waves is a phenomenal debut for Jeff Crandall and his J. Briozo project…. This album deserves top honors and is not to be missed by music fans that enjoy works that are truly fresh and original.”

Melodic.net (Sweden)
“Imagine R.E.M. performing songs written by the dream team of Neil Young and John Lennon and you´ll get Deep in the Waves.”

Babysue.com (LMNOP) (Chattanooga, TN)
Deep In The Waves is a fully realized creation with songs and sound that can easily compete with anything being released by major labels. The songs are moody and melodic…and they feature dreamy arrangements that really push them to another level.”

Dancing About Architecture (Swindon, England)
“Majestic… the strange and thoughtful cousin of Swallows… destined to have a really interesting journey in its own right.”

Rift Magazine (Minneapolis)
Deep in the Waves by J. Briozo is a dark horse…. Prepare to get immersed in something quite different…. I compared the listening experience to Eddie Vedder’s Into The Wild…. I found myself sitting down with it and consciously listening to the whole thing–not just dropping in.”

Divide and Conquer Magazine
“It’s airy, atmospheric and contains a subtle yet emotionally appealing vocal performance…. The songwriting shines as well as his ear for tone and textures which often give the music a visual backdrop that you can imagine without having to try very hard. Overall, Deep in the Waves was an impressive and enjoyable album…. Recommended.”

Hymie’s Vintage Records (Minneapolis)
“One can hear the sounds of [Beck’s] Sea Change or Morning Phase or the Midwest’s own Bon Iver reflected in the album…. The band’s earthy approach to Americana is just in the DNA of their recordings.”

Vents Magazine (Boston)
Deep in the Waves by Twin Cities Americana/Rock band Swallows’ J. Briozo is for the most part swapping the fiddling [Americana of Swallows] for a more profound, cinematic approach. “Blind” borrows some of the soberness of Radiohead and Portishead, while it still infuses some of the roots elements for which we have come to know him.”

Music You Can Use
“Deep in the Waves is a stunning debut offering that displays Jeff Crandall as a talented vocalist, instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger and conductor…. No two songs on the record sound exactly alike and the wealth of variety yields an album that is sure to see multiple appearances on music journalists’ top 10 lists.”

Music Review Roulette (Milwaukee)
“Blind is a cool, mellow jazz tune with a layered, lo-fi sound that reminds me of a lot of Beck’s Sea Change and Morning Phase albums. Great start of the day music or when you’re chilling before bed.”

Entertainment Guide (Minnesota)
“An atmospheric, psych-pop project conceived by the Minneapolis Americana/roots band, Swallows. The side project is a mesmerizing mix of vocals, guitars, drums and cello.”

Band one sheet for Deep in the Waves album release

J. Briozo is:

Jeff Crandall (Bio)

Vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, piano, organ, percussion, backing vocals

Aaron Kerr (Bio)

Bass, cello

Justin DeLeon (Bio)

Drums, percussion

Brett Hansen (Bio)

Rhythm and lead electric guitars, lap steel, backing vocals

Tyson Allison (Bio)

Percussion, electric guitars, organ, chimes, backing vocals

J. Briozo (Bio)


Additional players:

Jim Baldrica

Trumpet, trombone, saxophone and flute on “Sun Sun True”
Trumpet, trombone and saxophone on “The Big Parade”
Trumpet on “Camera Obscura”

Kimberly Vang and Kallie Bruett

Backing vocals on “The Big Parade” and “Sun Sun True”

Recording information:

Randy Gildersleeve

Recording engineer

Recorded at GilderSound, Forest Lake, MN
Mixed by Randy Gildersleeve, Jeff Crandall and Justin DeLeon
Mastered by J.J. Golden at Golden Mastering, Ventura, CA
Produced by Jeff Crandall
Production assistance by Justin DeLeon and Randy Gildersleeve
Arrangements by Jeff Crandall, Aaron Kerr, Brett Hansen, Jim Baldrica, Justin DeLeon, Tyson Allison and Randy Gildersleeve

Music and lyrics by Jeff Crandall

© 2017 Jeff Crandall, Swallow the Music LLC