It’s safe to say that Andrew Judah’s personal life hardly resembles the lyrics of his new album, Monster. Amidst the birth of his third child, the British Columbia native managed to capture lightning in a bottle, recording one of his strongest – and darkest – studio albums to date. Monster is out September 30, but he’s teamed up with Turkish music blog Gri Balkon to stream the album in its entirety (English transcription available). Also, check out a free MP3 of “In the Sun.”
The 11 tracks on Monster shift structure and theme multiple times throughout each song. Loosely inspired by Randy Newman’s early work (i.e. different characters, not comedic delivery) many of the songs are narrated by untrustworthy characters. The protagonists of Monster could rival David Lynch characters for perversity, like the disturbing raconteur in “Runaway” who sings he’s “got the keys to the place you call home and while you’re sleeping you’ll never know.”
The cinematic Hitchcock-factor of Monster is Andrew Judah’s proficiency as an arranger. Elements such as deeply processed banjo, sweeping synths, and hybrid electronic/live drums are most evident on tracks like “Morning Light.” Usually a one-man show, Andrew commissioned a live studio drummer, Paul Clark, for the first time, bringing a bolder and more aggressive sound to the album. The resulting compositions shift in tone and structure unexpectedly at times, adding to the mercurial landscape of the album.
Over the past few years Andrew Judah has licensed music to dozens of films and commercials, such as the recent Lincoln/Matthew McConaughey spot, cementing his place as a go-to composer. Monster’s dark, filmic soundtrack quality and mesmerizing lyrics could establish Andrew’s place in pop music’s modern pantheon of greatness.