But that light touch and the small scale of the narrative should in no way imply The Neon Skyline is a shallow, surfacy listen.
To the contrary, with repeat listens, numerous humorous and emotionally impactful moments emerge, and Shauf's lyrical skill depicting conversation between friends - or their inability to effectively converse even while intuitively grasping each other's every predilection and foible - pays great dividends the more one digs in to the conversational nuances, and is as critical here to the album's effectiveness as in celebrated late-night conversation-dominated films like My Dinner With Andre or The Big Chill.
A one man show (Shauf produced, engineered, and played every instrument), and consistent in its gentle tone, The Neon Skyline won't be of much interest to those who gravitate towards harder hitting rock, metal, or hip-hop, but those who like indie with a heavy dose of melancholic, self-deprecating intimacy should definitely check it out.
STATUS: Solid Recommend
CHERRY PICKER'S BEST BETS: Neon Skyline, Things I Do, Living Room, Dust Kids, Try Again.
Here's the official video for my favorite track from the album, Try Again, which occurs right when the narrator's ex joins the party.