Papercuts – You Can Have What You Want (Memphis Industries)
Space can be an important aspect to any record, but only when it’s used correctly. Jason Quever (splendid name, that) of Papercuts has learnt from production greats that the spaces you leave in your recordings must be well-placed and relative to the din you might put elsewhere. When you require nothing more than tremulous vocals and slightly echoed bass, for God’s sake leave it at that.
Jet Plane sees Quever maximise this. There’s a tiny bit of reverb on the bobbing bass, a light resonance to the clattering and simple percussion, and some simple vocal harmonies and strings. No element is more important than the combination of sounds and the prominence of the vocal line, the whole lot carried off with the ambience of The Butterflies Of Love and the melodious strands of The Heavy Blinkers. As it winds to a shimmering denouement, the only pity is that it fades out rather than satisfactorily concludes, but the subtle touch of the remainder must be applauded.
Quever’s exercises in woolly, woozy pop are marked out from the Grandaddy-emulating crowd by virtues usually uncommon. Future Primitive begins with and occasionally returns to a simple, plonking indie-blues bassline, but when the base elements are elaborated upon it becomes a marvel. Tremolo-bowed violins sit just under the always-understated vocals, racking remarkable tension for such sparse features. While it never explodes entirely, the bracing clashes in sound make for thorough and dark entertainment. Quever’s craft becomes wrought, desolate in sonic location and very engrossing.
On You Can Have What You Want‘s conclusion, The Wolf, the ponderous and shady nature of previous proceedings reach a swelled-stomach of a finish. While a lot of the warmth has been worthily stamped out of the record throughout and the space squashed from it for dramatic focus, this final statement lulls the listener into thinking this might be some kind of redemption. It’s brighter than the songs before it, and promises to escalate at its end – but doesn’t. As soon as the bass begins to pound a little harder than before, suggestive of a dynamic build, the record ceases. Whether it’s a deliberate deflation or a witless joke, it’s cheering to know that an artist would spend as much time constructing and deconstructing a dense mood on a pop album.
Paaercuts arrives via Memphis Industries on April 13th. Go!