Author: Sarah Haghi
All photos from artist’s Facebook page
I flip my hand wrist up and get a seahorse stamped on. I walk through this lively, warm colored bar to an inconspicuous yet spacious back room. The Papercuts walks onto stage. This four-piece is greeted by cheers and applause as they take the stage, all smiling at each other and the crowd.
Getting their start about 14 years ago, Papercuts has just released their sixth album, Parallel Universe Blues. The band has adapted their style as they’ve grown over the years, expanding their musical styles and pushing their limits slowly and steadily with long breaks between releases. They’ve always maintained an indie pop feeling that incorporated shoegaze and experimental sounds at different points in their musical career.
Jason Quever, the head of the band, recently relocated from the Bay Area to LA and started working with a new label, Sumberland Records. These changes translated clearly in the new album which took quite a shift from past ones. Past records were often heavy on the reverb and emphasized layering of keys, bass, guitar, and humming vocals but Parallel Universe Blues focused less on layers and effects, drawing your attention to the stripped-down instruments themselves. This shift made a big difference in the vibrancy of the music and made the music engaging in a way the other albums hadn’t been. Catchy hooks and strong bass lines like in How to Quit Smoking and Walk Backwards as well as the clearly deeply personal lyrics made for beautiful and drastically underrated music, as it always seems to be with Papercuts.
“Well I guess that you are some memory I can’t place. Some other plan. Some other man. Some memory you can’t place.” Laughing Man, Parallel Universe Blues, Papercuts, October 2018
SARAH HAGHI | KXSU Promotions Director