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Andy Shauf, 'Telephone'

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How many hundred-plus-year-old pieces of technology still have songs written about them today? No matter how fast the world progresses and expands, or how many times the device’s whole design changes, the telephone call, with all its immediacy and intimacy, is still as fruitful and rich a songwriting subject as it’s always been. Andy Shauf mines that one-on-one connection (or lack thereof) in “Telephone,” a yearning ode to communicating.

Shauf brings us into the mind of his subject, a caller dreaming of the days they’d listen endlessly to the musings and updates on the other line, now a lost contact. Are they missing an old flame? A faded friend? We’re left to wonder among piano plinks, dial-tone clarinet hums and searching synthesizer lines, a new addition to Shauf’s sound palette. Our lone dialer counts days and recalls memories since the last time they heard the voice they’re seeking through the receiver, longing to listen again, if only the wires or satellites could transmit a gentle plea: “Pick up your telephone.”

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