Press

Jeff singing
Photo by Brian Murphy

“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.” – Melodic.net

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.

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

New Album – Deep in the Waves

Official Street Date: November 17, 2017

J. Briozo - Deep in the Waves album cover

Album Artwork and One-Sheet

Listen

Samples from Deep in the Waves

Watch

“Blue” from the Deep in the Waves album release show at the Phoenix Theater in Minneapolis (11-10-17)

“Blind” from Deep in the Waves live at the Phoenix Theater release show in Minneapolis (11-10-17)

Related Discography

Press

No Depression Journal of Roots Music (Massachusetts)
“It’s clear from the first track ‘Blind’ on J. Briozo’s debut Deep in the Waves that the listener is not in for a traditional record. With progressive intentions and a dynamic swirl of sounds fronted by hymnal keyboards and FX-drenched guitar melodies, a strange psychedelic bent overtakes Briozo’s music. The rhythms smolder like the dying embers of a long forgotten campfire as J’s vocals are steeped in melodic majesty…. “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.” (read the full review)

Babysue.com (LMNOP) (Chattanooga, TN)
“This is not your average flash-in-the-pan side project. 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. Crandall has a great voice that’s perfectly suited for the style of songs he writes. Backing Jeff on these tracks are Aaron Kerr, Brett Hanson, Justin DeLeon, and Tyson Allison (plus a few additional guest musicians). Smart resilient tracks include ‘Blind,’ ‘Spinning Out,’ ‘Firefly,’ and ‘Sun Sun True.'” (read the full review)

Dancing About Architecture (Swindon, England)
“It covers a lot of ground, wandering as it does between the breezy pop-blues of ‘The Big Parade,’ the gentle cosmic beauty of ‘Beautiful Mess,’ the retro, west coast psychedelia of ‘Sun Sun True,’ the wide-screen cinematics of ‘Blue’ and some lovely minimalism with ‘Santa Cruz.’ It is eclectic for sure, same as the band who spawned this majestic record but where as Swallows tend to be writ larger across their chosen musical landscapes, in this mode the result is more often than not a more considered, understated and subtle affair. They know how to rock out for sure, just check out ‘Spinning Out’ for some glorious college rock grooves but its finest moments are found in the intricacy and parred down moments, the smaller details and the gentler musical brush strokes of the moody yet reflective opener ‘Blind’ or the lilting acoustica of ‘Rain Song.’ It is the strange and thoughtful cousin of Swallows but is destined to have a really interesting journey in its own right.” (read the full review)

Rift Magazine (Minneapolis)
Deep in the Waves by J. Briozo is a dark horse. For those familiar with Jeff Crandall as frontman of the local band Swallows, prepare to get immersed in something quite different, certainly for me not what I expected to hear from Crandall’s debut “solo” work… I compared the listening experience to Eddie Vedder’s Into The Wild for me. I set out to listen here and there when I could, but found myself sitting down with it and consciously listening to the whole thing–not just dropping in.” (read the full interview)

Melodic.net (Sweden)
“One guy who knows that it´s good for your soul to take it slow and easy, is Minneapolis based artist Jeff Crandall. The Swallows frontman´s first solo album “Deep in the waves” is released under the moniker J.Briozo…. This album is a blend of Americana, 60´s pop and lo-fi rock. 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…. Sit back, relax and switch off your smartphone. We all need to dive deep in the waves.” (read the full review)

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.” (read the full review)

Divide and Conquer
Deep in the Waves is the first solo album from J. Briozo. The album contains thirteen songs that are often mood driven and thought provoking. There are certainly some gems amongst the batch starting with the opener ‘Blind.’ ‘Blind’ showcases a style where Briozo really shines. The vibe reflects the album art. It’s airy, atmospheric and contains a subtle yet emotionally appealing vocal performance. Briozo really feeds this vibe with the title track and ‘Beautiful Mess.’ 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.” (read the full review)

Rootstime (Belgium)
“Characteristic [of Deep in the Waves] is the atmospheric sound that was created with these songs. This is immediately noticeable with the subtly orchestrated and fragilely sung opening track ‘Blind’ and also in the following album title track ‘Deep In The Waves’ and in the love song ‘Beautiful Mess’ the tempo is kept subdued and we get all kinds of airy sounds from afar…. But then suddenly we are ripped out of our dream world by the rocking and Beatles-like ‘Spinning Out’…. The influence of such artists as Justin Vernon aka ‘Bon Iver’ and Beck Hansen aka ‘Beck’ as he sounds on his album Morning Phase from 2014 are also noticeable in some tracks on Deep In The Waves. (read the full review)

Charles Dubé – The Dispossessed (Hartford)
“Being familiar with Jeff’s work, I had a certain expectation based on his songwriting and vocals with Swallows. But I also, either accurately or in my own mind imagined elements of influence from The Smithereens, Bowie, Pink Floyd (think Zabriskie Point.) Jeff is an intelligent craftsman without coming off as too serious. In fact there is a lot of humor in this collection but it is mixed with some irony and longing. The dynamics are wide, the colors plentiful and there’s a lot here for the palette. A beautiful collection.”

Hymie’s Vintage Records (Minneapolis)
“One can hear the recent sounds of [Beck’s] Sea Change or Morning Phase or the Midwest’s own Bon Iver reflected in the album. And although the album is issued under a new name, it doesn’t sound all that removed from the last Swallows record, Witching & Divining. The band’s earthy approach to Americana is just in the DNA of their recordings. There are some moments on the album perfect for old AM radio, especially the bright closing cut, ‘Sun Sun True’ and ‘Beautiful Mess,’ both songs which recall Everclear-era American Music Club.” (read the full review)

Vents Magazine (Album Review and Interview – 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…. There isn’t much negative to report. The album is eclectic in its own way. At first you get the impression you are up for a quiet journey, with great harmonies and melodies, nice arrangements and good vocals – but all this builds up for a rather catchy album. There are some slow tracks in between, but then there are others that draw a smile in your face.” (read the full review) (read the full interview)

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.”

Minnesota Entertainment Guide
“J. Briozo is 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.”

Press for prior releases

Kings of A&R, New York
“Intelligent, luxuriant and compelling indie rock/pop/folk. Falls somewhere between Elliott Smith, REM, Radiohead, Nick Drake, The Eels, U2, etc. New album Tracing The Cracks is an album that NEEDS to be heard. It’s dreamy, imaginative and inspiring. Listen to it again and again and again.”

CD Baby (Editor’s Pick)
“An ethereal, lush and dreamy expedition into the dark, deep and blue crystal crevasses of David Sylvian, R.E.M., Nick Drake, and Elliott Smith…. Dive into the formless dream worlds and the gloriously powerless zero-gravity of fate… and take this CD with you.”

Buzz Magazine, Sydney (5 stars)
“It really does feel like a new dawn when you give this album a listen. It is a stunning surprise…. The title track (‘Clear Sky Relapse’) has to make it onto people’s Top Ten tracks of the year lists…. Clear Sky Relapse is one of the EPs of the year!”

Not Lame Records, Denver
“Sometimes you come across ‘great music’ that just does not conform the way you usually listen to music and which demands a bit more of your focus and attention. Thinland is a band that combines acoustic and orchestral elements, layered guitars, poignant and introspective lyrics, and compelling melodies… .We could compare them to the very best of R.E.M., the beatific landscapes of David Sylvian’s solo material, Leonard Cohen and The Eels…. You should hear this record, sooner as opposed to later. Highly Recommended.”

Consequence of Sound, Chicago/New York
“Swallows, an alternative band out of Minnesota has invoked what people are calling ‘rock and roll, ugly and beautiful, profane and spiritual’.… Highly Recommended.” [#57 on COS Top 100 albums of 2008 list]

The Band

Jeff Crandall (Bio)

Vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, pianos, organs, 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, ambient guitars, backing vocals

J. Briozo (Bio)

Muse

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

Contact

Publicity:
Krista Vilinskis
Tinderbox Music
612-375-1113
krista@tinderboxmusic.com

Management/Booking:
Jeff Crandall
Swallow the Music
j@jbriozo.com