- by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:7 Release Date:2018-10-26 Label: Self-Released
Certainly one for Halloween, or any night you feel you need to get scared so that you can feel comforted afterwards that it was all just a dream/nightmare, a movie or Paper Fairy’s debut album Haunter Haunted. And it is all geared towards that feeling, Paper Fairy, aka Brooklyn musician Chris Gaskell, trying to make the play on light/shadow effect through his music, lyrics and album images.
Whichever image you look at, you see Gaskell in a dentist’s chair, awaiting the pain and dread of somebody invading your sensitive parts and then the relief when all the repairs and checkups are over. Actually, the storyline concentrates on a demented tooth fairy who puts candy under the pillows but is at the same time the dentist who does the repairs, getting rich in the process.
Throughout, Gaskell plays on that duality, where the songs are actually a dialogue between two opposing selves which realise they are one and the same, and it seems it is the dark self that actually dominates. The music itself is no simple candy either, although sweet moments do reside on Haunter Haunted. Gaskell certainly has an extensive Bowie collection (“You Know You’re Not A Thing”, “Taste of Life”), as well as Roxy Music, favouring those more shadowy moments (“Haunter”), not forgetting what Radiohead have to say about all this (“No Overtime’).
Still, he is making solid attempts to hold all this to his own concept and is getting quite close to being successful at that. There is certain intricacy to Gaskell’s music that at the same time comes over as quite easy on the ear. In all of it, Gaskell has the help of a number of New York musicians, including guitarist Mike Haldeman who also supports Moses Sumney, with Gaskell himself doing all the vocals, bass lines, piano, and additional guitar parts.
Quite an interesting debut, that might transcend its Halloween season compatibility.