Papercuts / Mockingbird - 4088596
Released in 2004, Mockingbird was the first proper Papercuts album release (following 2000’s long out of print Rejoicing Songs, from Owen Ashworth’s Cassingle USA imprint) and introduced the world to the genius of songwriter and studio wizard Jason Quever.
Based out of Quever’s Panamerican Recording Studios, the Papercuts band has served as an incubator for songwriters and performers over the years, and the version of the band that collaborated for Mockingbird includes Matt Popeliuch (on keyboards and backing vocals) and Luke Top (on drums), themselves later the bandleaders of Los Angeles’ Foreign Born and Fools Gold respectively.
Mockingbird serves as a calling card for the trademark Papercuts sound: Velvety baroque pop with production that mines the rich middle ground between Phil Spector and Kevin Shields and a distinctive groove like your favorite early pop/r&b single playing at 33 rpm. Lush arrangements and biting lyrical content (try “Pan American Blues Pt. 2,” or “A Fairy Tale”) are reminiscent of Scott Walker or more recent practitioners of gloom such as Red House Painters, Okkervil River or Rufus Wainwright (minus all the bombast) but are given a unique urgency by Quever’s reverb-soaked falsetto. A classic album.
Released: February 24, 2012
Papercuts / You Can Have What You Want - 4088599
Papercuts’ You Can Have What You Want is the newest phase in Jason Quever’s ongoing pop investigations. The relatively earthbound happy/sad pop of Mockingbird and Can’t Go Back has been launched into the vault of the skies. Here, Quever delves further into epic dream-pop using mostly vintage organs, pulsing bass, and Kraut-via-Ringo-inspired drum rhythms. Intact from those earlier efforts is Quever’s sense of arrangement and drama, as well as his soaring vocals, draped in reverb gauze. The words reveal a fascination with mortality and things cosmic, while sonically the voice acts as another instrument. This obsessively all-analog effort (no computer processing here whatsoever!) cuts across several eras of dreamy sound: ‘80s/’90s Creation and 4AD Records, The Zombies, ‘60s French pop, even Can’s Future Days—and then there’s the inevitable connection to former tourmates Beach House and Grizzly Bear. Indeed, Beach House’s Alex Scally helped with some of the arrangements, though You Can Have What You Want is its own strain of addictive pop. For many, it will be the blissful/melancholy jam of the spring and summer.
Released: January 11, 2011
Papercuts / Can't Go Back - 4088598
Papercuts is Jason Quever’s cathedral of sound, stemming from a desperate analog worship and respect for musicianship of the old world. This album, for Gnomonsong, Can’t Go Back, is a marriage of timeless songs, richly textured studio sounds, classic rock/pop hookery, and focused narratives — all delivered with Quever’s warm voice and wonderfully layered melodies.
Released: January 11, 2011
Papercuts / Fading Parade - SP885
Papercuts prinicipal Jason Robert Quever’s beautiful songwriting is thoughtful, evocative, subtle, and simultaneously ambitious. And the new Papercuts album, Fading Parade,—the band’s fourth overall—is dream pop of the highest order. Crafted over the course of several months at The Hangar in Sacramento, with Thom Monahan, and at Quever’s own Pan American Recording studio, Fading Parade is meticulously designed pop music, with a fully developed sense of space and a sturdy wall of sound. With the aid of strings, autoharp, Mellotron, Moogs, 12-string acoustic guitars, piano, echoplexes, analog and digital recording methods, this new album is wide-ranging and adventurous, through the up-tempo jangle of “Do You Really Wanna Know,” the soaring and resonant “Do What You Will,” the moody swirl of “I’ll See You Later, I Guess,” the folky, piano-driven “Winter Daze,” and on. Imagine Belle & Sebastian teaming up with Slowdive and recording with Phil Spector back when he was killing it in the studio rather than, well, you know. Fading Parade is Papercuts’ first album for Sub Pop.
If you pre-order Fading Parade by March 1st, you’ll receive, for free, a limited edition CDR featuring “Boys of Summer” (yes, that “Boys of Summer”, “Perfect”, and “UFO”. You’ll also get a couple stickers!
Released: March 1, 2011