The band at Nye's Polonaise Room in Minneapolis
Photo by Cori Miller | High Res (300 DPI) Version

Introducing J. Briozo

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


Samples from Deep in the Waves

Album release show video teaser featuring the song “Blue” from Deep in the Waves

Related Discography


Rift Magazine
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)

Hymie’s Vintage Records
“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
(Read the full interview)

Music Review Roulette
“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.”

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)


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


Krista Vilinskis
Tinderbox Music

Jeff Crandall
Swallow the Music