Papercuts - Fading Parade

by James Bray Rating:7 Release Date:2011-03-01

Papercuts are the less well known scions of California's bohemian counter-culture; imagine The Dandy Warhols, or The Brian Jonestown Massacre, but without the drugs or the serial vanity. Papercuts are led by Jason Robert Quever, whose hip, west-coast melancholy characterises the group's sound. Relatively speaking, the band are indie-pop stalwarts, having been around since the early 2000s.

This album is made up of strung-out pop songs, which, combined with Quever's sultry vocal delivery make the group very reminiscent of The Velvet Underground. Papercuts have swathes of reverb and amplified ambiance, but the sweet melodies are always at the heart of the tracks. In spite of a certain amount of emulation of The Velvets, there isn't too much art-rock posturing on Fading Parade. Many of the songs are based around guitar arpeggios and subtle, electronic organs; this creates a washed-out, classic, pop-rock feel, which allows the desultory vocals to soar.

The layered vocals and embellished musicianship creates a lush sound, which serves as a platform for all of Quever's meditations on passion and melancholy. With song titles like 'I'll See You Later, I Guess' and 'Marie Says You've Changed', you can get the idea of the kind of fey, high-school sensuality that Quever specialises in. Fading Parade is a good indie-pop record, and Quever deserves a place with other post-ironic romantics like Rivers Cuomo and Jonathan Pierce of The Drums.

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