Press – J. Briozo

J. Briozo - Deep in the Waves album cover

Reviews of Deep in the Waves (Sweden)
“One guy who knows that it´s good for your soul to take it slow and easy, is Minneapolis based artist Jeff Crandall. The Swallows frontman´s first solo album “Deep in the Waves” is released under the moniker J.Briozo…. This album is a blend of Americana, 60´s pop and lo-fi rock. Imagine R.E.M performing songs written by the dream team of Neil Young and John Lennon and you´ll get Deep in the Waves…. Sit back, relax and switch off your smartphone. We all need to dive deep in the waves.” (read the full review)

No Depression Journal of Roots Music (Massachusetts)
“It’s clear from the first track ‘Blind’ on J. Briozo’s debut Deep in the Waves that the listener is not in for a traditional record. With progressive intentions and a dynamic swirl of sounds fronted by hymnal keyboards and FX-drenched guitar melodies, a strange psychedelic bent overtakes Briozo’s music. The rhythms smolder like the dying embers of a long forgotten campfire as J’s vocals are steeped in melodic majesty…. “Deep in the Waves is a phenomenal debut for Jeff Crandall and his J. Briozo project…. This album deserves top honors and is not to be missed by music fans that enjoy works that are truly fresh and original.” (read the full review)

Radio ISA FM (France)
“A totally original sound with many influences… A brilliant musician, a stunning and captivating soundscape.”

Rift Magazine: 365 Days of Music (Minneapolis)
“Don’t you love it when music just pulls you in. Makes you feel something, so you can really absorb it. It seems like Jeff Crandall (under the name J.Briozo) has it figured it out. ‘A Beautiful Mess’ is a beautiful song from the album Deep In The Waves.” (View on Rift Magazine)

Keys and Chords (Netherlands)
“J. Briozo knows how to write beautiful lyrics and sings them sensitively to the bone. Superb eclectic debut album! A purebred singer-songwriter!” (read the full review)

Blaskans vänner (Sweden)
“Music that makes me both float and dream at one and the same time. Songs that are like dreams caught by an Indian dream man. The music is beautifully harmonious, shimmering in every line and tone.
An exciting musical experience.” (read the full review)

Popmagazine Heaven (Netherlands)
“One might think the new act is just a vanity side project, but the writing talent of Crandall has not been affected and the band also proves to be very adept in shaping a beautiful, versatile indie folk-pop sound. The thirteen songs on this album are just too beautiful and the music is just too good for it to be considered a vanity project. In an Americana world where so many ingredients are well known, it is so refreshing to see an act set out on a different path and and show a lot more of who they really are in doing it.” (read the full review)

Folkworld (Germany)
“This is a good solid album full of folk-rock and singer-songwriter material. There are delicate songs of introspection and street-tough folk rockers that showcase this fine band. This is one of those albums that is worth staying with as the band’s skillful playing unfolds the magic of their music over time. The atmosphere they create includes mysterious landscapes and flowing terrain, whether they lean acoustic or go full on electric. Give this record a careful listen and you will likely be transported to interesting places.” (read the full review)

Le Cri Du Coyote: Americana Music Review (France)
Deep In The Waves is the work of J. BRIOZO, aka Jeff Crandall, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Leader of the band Swallows, he released a selection of songs that cover a pretty phenomenal terrain, from heavy rock (‘Spinning Out’, very Beatles) to the light soul-funk of Steely Dan (‘Catalonia’), passing through folk with strings (‘Rain Song’) and a multi-colored répertoire in cinémascope (‘Sun Sun True’). In short, no taboos, a coppery and athletic voice, an undeniable know-how, holding: this Jeff knows where he’s going and does not ask his way from anyone.” (LMNOP) (Chattanooga, TN)
“This is not your average flash-in-the-pan side project. Deep In The Waves is a fully realized creation with songs and sound that can easily compete with anything being released by major labels. The songs are moody and melodic…and they feature dreamy arrangements that really push them to another level. Crandall has a great voice that’s perfectly suited for the style of songs he writes. Backing Jeff on these tracks are Aaron Kerr, Brett Hanson, Justin DeLeon, and Tyson Allison (plus a few additional guest musicians). Smart resilient tracks include ‘Blind,’ ‘Spinning Out,’ ‘Firefly,’ and ‘Sun Sun True.’” (read the full review)

Dancing About Architecture (Swindon, England)
“It covers a lot of ground, wandering as it does between the breezy pop-blues of ‘The Big Parade,’ the gentle cosmic beauty of ‘Beautiful Mess,’ the retro, west coast psychedelia of ‘Sun Sun True,’ the wide-screen cinematics of ‘Blue’ and some lovely minimalism with ‘Santa Cruz.’ It is eclectic for sure, same as the band who spawned this majestic record but where as Swallows tend to be writ larger across their chosen musical landscapes, in this mode the result is more often than not a more considered, understated and subtle affair. They know how to rock out for sure, just check out ‘Spinning Out’ for some glorious college rock grooves but its finest moments are found in the intricacy and parred down moments, the smaller details and the gentler musical brush strokes of the moody yet reflective opener ‘Blind’ or the lilting acoustica of ‘Rain Song.’ It is the strange and thoughtful cousin of Swallows but is destined to have a really interesting journey in its own right.” (read the full review)

Signatures in Time
Deep in the Waves is a staggering achievement with daring songwriting, top-notch performances and an attentive ear put towards the production and mixing. There’s really nothing out there that it’s directly comparable to which is a difficult feat to muster in 2017. If the idea of the best elements of the 60s, 70s and 90s all rolled into one is your idea of a good time, then you’re going to have a field day with Deep in the Waves.” (read the full review)

Rift Magazine (Minneapolis)
Deep in the Waves by J. Briozo is a dark horse. For those familiar with Jeff Crandall as frontman of the local band Swallows, prepare to get immersed in something quite different, certainly for me not what I expected to hear from Crandall’s debut “solo” work… I compared the listening experience to Eddie Vedder’s Into The Wild for me. I set out to listen here and there when I could, but found myself sitting down with it and consciously listening to the whole thing–not just dropping in.” (read the full interview)

Zero Magazine (Sweden)
Deep In The Waves is an appealing album. It has a calm, dreamy quality (‘Beautiful mess’), which sometimes sparks out in spiny outings, sometimes takes other ways, but the feeling of silence dominates and I like just as well listening to the record in the early mornings as late at night. It has such a special atmosphere that enhances and colors existence as you spend your time alone. It also has a timeless sound that makes it feel as high as 1968 in 1995 or in 2018. Unfortunately, the CD is missing a lyric book, but you’re right at what Crandall sings so just sit in the favorite armchair and go on the trip.” (read the full review)

Music You Can Use
Deep in the Waves is a stunning debut offering that displays Jeff Crandall as a talented vocalist, instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger and conductor…. No two songs on the record sound exactly alike and the wealth of variety yields an album that is sure to see multiple appearances on music journalists’ top 10 lists.” (read the full review)

Divide and Conquer
Deep in the Waves is the first solo album from J. Briozo. The album contains thirteen songs that are often mood driven and thought provoking. There are certainly some gems amongst the batch starting with the opener ‘Blind.’ ‘Blind’ showcases a style where Briozo really shines. The vibe reflects the album art. It’s airy, atmospheric and contains a subtle yet emotionally appealing vocal performance. Briozo really feeds this vibe with the title track and ‘Beautiful Mess.’ The songwriting shines as well as his ear for tone and textures which often give the music a visual backdrop that you can imagine without having to try very hard. Overall, Deep in the Waves was an impressive and enjoyable album…. Recommended.” (read the full review)

Rootstime (Belgium)
“Characteristic [of Deep in the Waves] is the atmospheric sound that was created with these songs. This is immediately noticeable with the subtly orchestrated and fragilely sung opening track ‘Blind’ and also in the following album title track ‘Deep In The Waves’ and in the love song ‘Beautiful Mess’ the tempo is kept subdued and we get all kinds of airy sounds from afar…. But then suddenly we are ripped out of our dream world by the rocking and Beatles-like ‘Spinning Out’…. The influence of such artists as Justin Vernon aka ‘Bon Iver’ and Beck Hansen aka ‘Beck’ as he sounds on his album Morning Phase from 2014 are also noticeable in some tracks on Deep In The Waves. (read the full review)

Charles Dubé – The Dispossessed (Hartford)
“Being familiar with Jeff’s work, I had a certain expectation based on his songwriting and vocals with Swallows. But I also, either accurately or in my own mind imagined elements of influence from The Smithereens, Bowie, Pink Floyd (think Zabriskie Point.) Jeff is an intelligent craftsman without coming off as too serious. In fact there is a lot of humor in this collection but it is mixed with some irony and longing. The dynamics are wide, the colors plentiful and there’s a lot here for the palette. A beautiful collection.”

Hymie’s Vintage Records (Minneapolis)
“One can hear the recent sounds of [Beck’s] Sea Change or Morning Phase or the Midwest’s own Bon Iver reflected in the album. And although the album is issued under a new name, it doesn’t sound all that removed from the last Swallows record, Witching & Divining. The band’s earthy approach to Americana is just in the DNA of their recordings. There are some moments on the album perfect for old AM radio, especially the bright closing cut, ‘Sun Sun True’ and ‘Beautiful Mess,’ both songs which recall Everclear-era American Music Club.” (read the full review)

Vents Magazine (Album Review and Interview – Boston)
Deep in the Waves by Twin Cities Americana/Rock band Swallows’ J. Briozo is for the most part swapping the fiddling [Americana of Swallows] for a more profound, cinematic approach. “Blind” borrows some of the soberness of Radiohead and Portishead, while it still infuses some of the roots elements for which we have come to know him…. There isn’t much negative to report. The album is eclectic in its own way. At first you get the impression you are up for a quiet journey, with great harmonies and melodies, nice arrangements and good vocals – but all this builds up for a rather catchy album. There are some slow tracks in between, but then there are others that draw a smile in your face.” (read the full review) (read the full interview)

Music Review Roulette (Milwaukee)
“Blind is a cool, mellow jazz tune with a layered, lo-fi sound that reminds me of a lot of Beck’s Sea Change and Morning Phase albums. Great start of the day music or when you’re chilling before bed.”

Minnesota Entertainment Guide
“J. Briozo is an atmospheric, psych-pop project conceived by the Minneapolis Americana/roots band, Swallows. The side project is a mesmerizing mix of vocals, guitars, drums and cello.”


North America
Krista Vilinskis
Tinderbox Music

Peter Holmstedt

Jeff Crandall
Swallow the Music