Papercuts - Parallel Universe Blues LPLabel: Slumberland Records
Over the course of five stellar albums, Papercuts' Jason Quever has shown himself to be a top-notch song-writer and producer, equally at home with lush, baroque textures and more stripped-down arrangements. His skill in the studio has helped him build-up an enviable resume recording, producing and playing with artists including Luna, Beach House, Cass McCombs, Dean Wareham/Dean & Britta and Slumberland's own The Mantles.
Papercuts' new album "Parallel Universe Blues" reflects Quever's recent move from long-time musical home San Francisco to Los Angeles and all of the searching and self-exploration that accompanies leaving your home, your friends and your scene. The sound is intimate and close, nicely balancing the sonic concerns of the last few Papercuts records. The opening pair of songs "Mattress On The Floor" and Laughing Man" superbly sets the table for the rest of the album: perfect Spectorian pop songs echoed down through The Velvet Underground, LA's Paisley Underground, Spiritualized and The Jesus and Mary Chain.
"How To Quit Smoking" is a wry bit of self-examination, fueled by some gorgeous guitar melodies and a terrific chorus. "Sing To Me Candy" amps up the fuzz - distant peels of feedback blending into tape loops to create a Opal-esque atmosphere. "Clean Living" is another "jab at self improvement and who it's really for" that could fit right on on Nico's "Chelsea Girl." "All Along St Mary's" is an epic breakup song that would be right at home on The Jesus And Mary Chain's "Darklands" - ideal late night/rainy day vibes.
Never sacrificing song-writing for atmospherics, "Parallel Universe Blues" is a superb addition to the Papercuts catalog. Its themes of self-examination are as a timeless as the tunes themselves, the dreamy autumnal mood perfectly captured in the pastoral cover art. The album is a triumph and points to more great things in the future from Quever and Papercuts.