Thursday, April 02, 2009

People in Motion Again

Papercuts - The Machine Will Tell Us So

San Francisco is gearing up for another Summer of Love as there's a properly tasty scene building in the city at the moment. At its heart is Jason Quever, a guy with a very interesting back-story – he was raised in a commune in Humboldt County in Northern California, orphaned, and moved up and down the West Coast before settling in San Francisco. A talented multi-instrumentalist with a fine ear, he's become a focal point for West Coast musicians, playing with and producing a whole heap of acts including Devendra Banhart, Vetiver, Donkeys, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Cass McCombs and Beach House.

As well as his role as the Phil Spector of modern-day San Fran, Quever also has his own Papercuts project and the optimistically-titled ‘You Can Have What You Want’ is the third album he's recorded under that nom de plume, but the first to be released in the UK (on April 13 2009, by the ever-reliable Memphis Industries). It’s a dreamy collection of reverb-drenched pop songs, dominated by vintage analogue organs and Quever’s soaring vocals. The songs evoke hazy summer days, rich with melancholic drama and stunning arrangements – that Spector comparison was not a joke, though perhaps Brian Wilson circa-'Pet Sounds' is a more accurate sonic comparison.

It has a retro-future vibe - new sounds recorded on old equipment - that immediately brought to mind ‘The Noise Made By People’-era Broadcast (who incidentally have a song called Papercuts in their oeuvre – coincidence?), especially the drums, nailed on the press release as “Kraut-via Ringo”. Quever himself has flagged up 'The Twilight Zone' as a big influence on the album (he was watching the boxset on repeat during recording) - "It's clear to me that the show's mysterious, melancholic vibe seeped into the album", he revealed. This does actually make perfect sense. There's also a laidback, Gallic feel to proceedings; the evocative whiff of Gauloise and Gainsbourg permeate the tracks. Love it.

Catch the Papercuts experience live when Quever and his merry band tour the UK and Europe in April in support of the album -

09 April - Deaf Institute, Manchester
11 April - Bird On The Wire, London
12 April - Freebutt, Brighton
13 April - Rough Trade Instore, London
14 April - Cafe de la Danse, Paris
15 April - The Cellar, Oxford
16 April - The Legion, London
17 April - Buffalo Bar, Cardiff

Preorder 'You Can Have What You Want' from Norman Records
Papercuts at Memphis Industries
Papercuts MySpace