Papercuts – Fading Parade

Rating: ★★★★½

Jason Quever always seems busy, whether producing other people’s work, or writing his own tunes.  Regardless, it seems that everything he touches somehow finds its ways to my ears, eventually leading to massive amounts of pleasure.  On Fading Parade, his fourth record as Papercuts, that’s precisely what you’re going to get, endless spends of moving music that will never tire.

Something about the guitar line opening “Do You Really Want to Know” hinted at perhaps a more light-hearted Quever to open up this album, but as soon as those densely coated vocals entered the scene, I knew deep down that this was already going to be an exceptional listening experience.  The climbing guitar in the background, those precision drumming moments, all lead you towards blissful listening.  “Do What You Will” brings in the same sentiment, especially as Jason’s voice soars during the chorus, though that breathy quality he has for the duration of the song really gets to me.  Going two for two isn’t a bad way to begin Fading Parade.

It’s when you hit the third track, “I’ll See You Later I Guess” that the newest Papercuts release really began to sink in, emotionally seeking.  This tracks a slow-burner, similar to the work of a band like The New Year, yet as always, the production coats it in that heavy bit of fog, giving it a quality that seems to speak to you from the beyond.  Yet this isn’t the only track you’ll find on here that’s going to really move you, if you’re into a headphones listening experience.  “The Messenger” is perhaps one of the best songs Quever has written to date.  Slowly the song creeps forward, suddenly offering up a bit of unsteady vocals, before returning to the quiet mood.  Beware, these songs are begging you to listen again and again.

Tracks such as the aforementioned “The Messenger” offer a slight alteration in the overall sound of your everyday Papercuts recording.  Take for instance, “Winter Daze,” which gently tip-toes along with down-trodden piano.  Sure, that effortlessly warm pop element you’ve found is definitely a staple in Quever’s repertoire, but there’s new territory being explored, structurally especially.  In the past Jason’s possibly rushed forth with the unfolding of melodies in his tracks, but instead he barely lets the melody escape on this number, which makes it all the more powerful.  It’s the same sort of technique you find on album closer “Charades,” another track that gradually relinquishes its hold on melody and ecstasy.

Long have I been a fan of Jason Quever, and the more work he produces, the more I’m amazed at his gifts as a songwriter. Fading Parade shows him in complete control of every aspect he’s worked on since his debut, Mockingbird.  It’s not like he’s really put out a single bad record, but something about the latest bit from Papercuts shows him creating art above and beyond what I would expect.  This is not a dialed-in record; this is a record of great craftsmanship, and one you should all go enjoy now.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Papercuts_-_Do_What_You_Will.mp3]

Download: The Papercuts – Do What You Will [MP3]

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