Jeff Crandall

Vocals, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Piano, Organ, Bass, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Jeff singing
Photo by Brian Murphy

Jeff Crandall, the songwriter and lead vocalist for J. Briozo, formed the Minneapolis-based folk-pop band Thinland with cellist and composer Aaron Kerr in 2002. Thinland released the album “Tracing the Cracks” in 2003 and the band toured regionally through 2006. Before forming Thinland, Aaron and Jeff had previously recorded and performed with the San Francisco-based psych-rock band Mellow Drunk, a band that featured members of San Francisco’s Dora Flood and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. This musical relationship continued with Jeff and Aaron providing parts for two solo albums during the 2000s by Mellow Drunk’s lead vocalist and songwriter Leigh Gregory. Aaron has also recorded cello parts for Leigh’s current band White Sails, which splits time between Norway and San Francisco. Leigh Gregory also provided guitar parts for “Tracing the Cracks” and the first two Swallows albums.

In 2006, Jeff and Aaron headed to the studio to begin recording Thinland’s second album, but by the time the record came out in 2008, the original Thinland line-up had disbanded. Jeff and Aaron decided to move on, drop some of the Thinland material they had been working on and formed a new band that they called Swallows. The resulting album, “Songs for Strippers (and other professions),” was included on Consequence of Sound’s Top Albums of 2008 list and it helped Swallows become a go-to band for national act support at several Minneapolis clubs, including First Avenue, The Turf Club and the Triple Rock Social Club.

Along the way, Jeff and Aaron recruited an excellent line-up of Minnesota musicians to complement the new band’s style and Swallows released an EP “Clear Sky Relapse” in 2010 and a full-length album “Witching & Divining” in 2012. “Witching & Divining” made several of Minnesota’s best-albums-of-the-year lists in 2012, and songs from the album were played on over 160 stations in the United States and Canada. The song “The Winnowing” from the album has recently been featured in the Minnesota-made adventure sports film “Jeff’s World,” which is currently screening in Minnesota and at eco-friendly film festivals around the country. Swallows is also currently working on its third full-length album, “In the Shadow of the Seven Stars” which is scheduled for release in 2018.

J. Briozo’s journey is just beginning, but Jeff and Aaron are still working together, continuing a long musical relationship that began in 1998 and has survived through many band incarnations and musical projects. In 2008, multi-instrumentalist Tyson Allison joined Swallows on drums and subsequently moved to guitar, keys and backing vocals when drummer Justin DeLeon joined the band in 2010. Tyson adopted a similar role in in J. Briozo, trading in guitar for percussion when lead guitarist Brett Hansen joined the band in 2014. Brett recorded lead guitar parts, lap steel and backing vocals for “Deep in the Waves.”

Band Credits:

  • Active: J. Briozo, Swallows, Aaron Kerr’s Dissonant Creatures
  • Inactive: The Sleeper Pins, Thinland, Mellow Drunk, Love & Squalor, Semiconductor Orchestra, Jeff Crandall (solo)

Album Credits/Discography:

Production/Engineering:

  • Deep in the Waves – J. Briozo (Production, Arrangements, 2017)
  • Death Folk Magic (EP) – Bye Bye Banshee/Jezebel Jones (Production, Arrangements, 2017)
  • In the Shadow of the Seven Stars – Swallows (Production, Arrangements, TBA)
  • Witching & Divining – Swallows (Production, Arrangements, Mixing, 2012)
  • Clear Sky Relapse – Swallows (Production, Arrangements, Engineering, 2010)
  • Dissonant Creatures – Aaron Kerr & Swallows (Production, Arrangements, Engineering, 2009)
  • Explorations – JazZen (Engineering, 2008)
  • Songs for Strippers (and other professions) – Swallows (Production, Arrangements, 2008)
  • Tracing the Cracks – Thinland (Production, Arrangements, 2002)
  • The Day the World Didn’t End – Thinland (Production, Arrangements, Engineering, 2000)
  • Out of the Gate: Heyday Record’s Bay Area Sampler – Jeff Crandall (Production, Arrangements, Engineering, 2000)
  • Brindled Up – Leigh Gregory (Production, Arrangements, Engineering, 1998)
  • A Hole in the Universe – Jeff Crandall (Production, Arrangements, Engineering, 1997)
  • Room for You – Marny Fyfe (Production, Arrangements, Engineering, 1997)