Parallel Universe Blues
Papercuts, an American indie pop project that began in San Francisco, offers a fresh and relaxing sound on their new album “Parallel Universe Blues.”
This is the sixth album that Papercuts have released since surfacing from San Francisco’s early 2000s indie folk scene. “Parallel Universe Blues” continues to include high quality songwriting, intricate instrumentals and a unique sound. Fans of their work are sure to be pleased with the new one.
With inspiration from a select few genres, including Alternative, Indie and pop, songwriter and producer Jason Robert Quever, immediately captures music fans with his deep and welcoming voice. Quever, the center of this project being the major songwriter for Papercuts, is accompanied by addictive bass lines and groovy drum beats throughout the 10 tracks on this album. Some of these tracks, especially ‘Laughing Man,’ will be stuck in your head after only one listen.
The second song of the album ‘Laughing Man,’ may remind listeners of a slowed down version of Young the Giant. The guitar is addictive and as it repeats snakes between lyrics throughout the track.
Quever had recently moved from San Francisco, his long time home, to Los Angeles and was on a journey of self-discovery during the period around the record of “Parallel Universe Blues” and the move and its impact on his life heavily influenced the meanings and messages behind the recording.
According to a sent to the press with the new album, Quever describes the record’s message and the inspiration behind as being “a post-breakup record, post-mass exodus from San Francisco. It’s about starting over, finding a new life and new friends and new love in a new place.”
The overarching feeling is of being in the studio with Papercuts or front row, watching them at a tiny venue. The sound is natural and unforced as if the instruments are being played live without any effects or modification. Although this is not the case, Papercuts may be able to fool you.
Throughout ‘Parallel Universe Blues,’ there is an ideal balance of types of tracks that fit each listener’s mood. There are songs, like ‘Clean Living,’ for when you’re feeling sad, and there are upbeat tracks as well. This record provides every listener with a song they may enjoy and resonate with personally.
One major strength this record has is that it almost immediately transports listeners back in time. Quever sings: “I can’t stand to see your face” on “All Along St. Mary’s.” This particular song is more about a break-up and how it feels afterward, but fans already can recognize that after the first few lines.
‘Parallel Universe Blues’ is the ideal combination of different moods with a consistent theme for an album currently. It’s both heartfelt and intimate, but its beats and rhythms will keep you subconsciously tapping your feet and bobbing your head.
This album is unlike what you may hear on Spotify from other Indie Pop musicians or bands. Its sound is refreshing and makes you want to dance in a different way you would dance to rap music or strictly pop music. You may find yourself swaying to tracks such as ‘Kathleen Says’ and sensing some influence from the Beatles. Its not generic and worth the listen to anyone looking for something new and creatively produced.
If you love bands like Young the Giant and would enjoy a modern sounding Beatles record, ‘Parallel Universe Blues’ is your best bet. This record will have you discovering the rest of Papercuts’ songs from the past and replaying its newest ones.
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