Debut Album by Paul Andrews Light and Dust
Paul Andrews has released his debut album Light and Dust. The eleven song collection was written, arranged, performed, and produced by Paul Andrews. Album mastered by Jim DeMain in Nashville.
Paul Andrews, the New York-based singer/songwriter, unveils his debut album Light and Dust. The collection of eleven songs is a vibrant contemporary production that recalls another place, another time.Though unconditionally pop, Light and Dust is more than the sum of its parts. Consider it the bastard child of Seal, Martin Fry/ABC, Bryan Ferry, Goldfrapp, Pet Shop Boys, Marc Almond, and George Michael. It is blue-eyed soul for modern times.
Light and Dust takes the listener on a sonic journey, playing with subtle textures and taking diverging paths to tell a story. Each listen proves revelatory, unveiling the nuance in this lush landscape. Paul’s compositions come from a base of pure musicality, purposely steering clear of current trends — a clear indication that he intends these songs to be appreciated regardless of the period. Lyrically, Paul writes about perception, intent, and identity, while also exploring his views on spirituality, life, and love... along with the occasional struggle. Paul’s voice has been likened to those sing/songwriters of the 70s with a pure dynamic tone. His vocal style ranges from R&B flavored pop to jazz-tinged standards to etherial folktronica, perfect for his stacked floating harmonies throughout his songs.
Lead focus track, “Sunlight on Water,” was inspired by childhood memories of family vacations to Virginia Beach; a time of living without cares, fondly remembered by a man who is now older and bears the weight of life.
Paul wrote the intimate and poignant piano-based title track with his husband Tom in mind, though it’s not your typical love song. Instead, Paul wants the listener to think about love in terms of sharing our individuality and our true identity—the creative light that is exposed when we move beyond our ego (our bodies). The stage: a couple at the end of their lives, lying together in the still of a sunlit room, watching their bodies slowly erode (as dust) and feeling a sense of complete love. Musically, Paul channels his favorite composer, Claude Debussy, with quiet sonorous chords and understated melodic ideas metaphorically representing how dust can hover in the light.
This album is a reflection of Paul’s musical mindset during its production. “I understand this album isn’t for everyone. I have something unique to offer, not that my style hasn’t been done before, but how I put it all together — from songwriting, to how I play, how I sing, to how I mix — is distinctly ‘me’. I purposely didn’t want to repeat any arrangements on the album; each song had to have its own sound and feel; its own identity.”
With Light and Dust, Paul has created something different than what makers of present-day pop music are offering. With lush soundscapes and sultry atmospherics, Paul’s songs are reminiscent of a time when pop music could be sophisticated. “I’m hearing the same writing and production patterns across so many songs now,” explains Paul. “I don’t mind being an unconventional artist because I believe there are listeners out there who are looking for something different.”
Paul Andrews Bio
Album liner notes… and all those names that were scattered around the artwork. That’s where the fascination began. Paul Andrews noticed that those same songwriters, producers, and arrangers appeared on so many of his favorite recordings, and that’s where he wanted to be — in the liner notes.
In the early 1990s, after obtaining a degree in music, Paul moved from Maryland to NYC and quickly became involved with the dance music scene. He began writing and producing dance and R&B songs, releasing a handful of singles. After a chance encounter with Phyllis Hyman, he placed one of his songs with the singer for her next album. And with that, Paul was offered a publishing development deal with Polygram. Those opportunities sadly never developed due to the tragic passing of the singer and an untimely exit of his A&R representative at Polygram.
Paul continued his music work, and by the end of the 90’s he had written songs for a documentary and produced remixes for Dolly Parton, Gloria Estefan, Robyn, among other artists. This period of his career culminated in doing remix and production work directly for Phil Ramone, who said of Paul, “He understands music, and that’s very rare, especially for someone his age."
After a break from the industry, Paul reemerged in 2012 as an independent remixer/producer, taking advantage of new platforms that delivered music directly to listeners. Now, his musical direction was about reinventing songs instead of remixing them. He quickly gained accolades from many of the original artists and producers. Paul also continued to work on commercial releases, remixing for established artists like Basia, Wang Chung, and Madonna. It was Madonna’s approval of his non-dance “Ghosttown” remix that Paul took as a sign that he was on the right path.
The next step in his musical evolution was to record his own music and move from the album liner notes... to the album cover.
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Discovered via Musosoup