Release Date: Apr 14, 2009
Record label: Gnomonsong
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Pop
Papercuts make the kind of albums that are easy to ignore or write off as simple and unchallenging indie pop. The smooth textures and gentle surfaces of the production, the breezy melodies of the songs, and the quiet sweetness of Jason Quever's vocals and lyrics don't overwhelm or stand up and demand attention; instead they kind of seep into the pleasure center of your brain if you want them to. The two albums previous to You Can Have What You Want were bright and sunny, but very calm and almost serene.
A friend recently volunteered a capsule review of Papercuts' new album, You Can Have What You Want: "Catchy, but it'd be better if it wasn't so... muted. It's like the guy's singing through the wall." On one level, my friend's right. Jason Quever's one-man (plus guests) band makes blurred-edge music with damp organs, milky guitars, reverbed vocals, and sticky, half-familiar melodies seemingly snatched from some collective unconscious.
Jason Quever may be travelling backwards, but you can’t accuse him of standing still. The San Franciscan behind Papercuts has collected all-analog equipment, and is so resolute in his recreation of an “organic” sound you’d be forgiven for mistaking his nostalgia for some obtuse dedication to a lost, innocent ideal. There’s another way in which this retrograde journey is occurring.
Almost every single review of Papercuts ' third album (2007's Can't Go Back ) mentioned the curious moniker given to Jason Quever's songwriting outlet. The annoying flesh wound may be the bane of office workers everywhere, but most of Can't Go Back and its predecessor (2004's Mockingbird ) belie such a painful sobriquet. Quever's hazy dream pop and reverb-swathed vocals also proved to carve out a healthy niche in San Francisco's indie music industry beyond his associations with Devendra Banhart Gnomonsong and various spates of touring and collaborations with Baltimore's Beach House, Grizzly Bear, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and Cass McCombs.