2009 was a year of great misses. Same as the year before that. Just when I thought I managed to capture every interesting album that was released, by following blogs, reading The Wire, hearing friends’ recommendations and all the other news agencies out there, you find out you missed something.
That’s why the wonderful Papercuts album You Can Have What You Want, that managed to slip away from my ears, hit me with a great surprise. I remember their previous album from 2007 Can’t Go Back that was an amazing album, and when I heard they had a new album, released by Devendra’s label Gnomosong, I rushed immediately to the great mall of eMusic and got myself a virtual copy. Now I know I should get it on vinyl.
It’s easy to ditch Papercuts as Broadcast imitators, and releasing an album when such a masterpiece like the later have released this year – is a brave decision. Well, Papercuts were there before. It somewhat reminds me of the celebration of Brian Wilson with his life changing album Pet Sound, crashed down by the release of a bigger album like Sgt. Pepper. It can drive a man insane.
But Papercuts are not Broadcast, and though the similar 60’s pop sound texture (and obviously their name, borrowed from the song Papercuts of Broadcast’s breakthrough album The Noise Made By People)– Jason Quever, the mastermind behind the group manages to juggle on the thin line of ultra-influence and originality. His voice is delicate, and I can agree with Allmusic’s when they compare Quever’s voice to the delicacy of Zombies’ frontman Colin Blunstone. The songs are beautifully crafted, navigate between catchy hooks of both verbal and instrumental passages. His song tangle much more in psychedelia and it’s no surprise, given that he collaborated in projects like Vetiver, Skygreen Leopards and other psych-tinged bands and outfits.
His sounds are less dense, almost not taking himself seriously but you can hear the man had carefully picked each sound that was used in the record, and managed to do the cross between another Phil Spector student and an original musician, operating in the 00’s.
What You Want is just the type of album you’d listen on a Sunday morning, elegant, smooth and cozy, delivering 40 minutes of enjoyable pop-sych, with great tenderness.
Recently, the band had released a new 7” titled White Are The Waves, available for purchase through the Midheaven webstore. Also, the band had recorded a very nice cover version of Pink Floyd’s The Thin Ice, for the October 2009 issue of Mojo magazine, where an enclosed double album of the entire The Wall album was covered by many fine artists, all gathered to assemble the Re-build The Wall project.
The Machine Will Tell Us So
The Thin Ice
On the other side of the ocean, another Papercuts outfit emerged on 2009.
This time, it’s located in Tel Aviv, Israel, where the singer/songwriter Amit Erez, got together with fellow cello player Yael Shapira, to take the stage on what that have become some sort of a ‘best of’ show of Amit’s songs from his four releases so far. The accompanying of Yael Shapira adds an enormous depth to Amit’s songs, making the interpretations be just the right thing for the songs.
Amit has been releasing albums and performing his material, sang in English, since 2003 and has released 4 albums so far. The last one, released in June 2009 with the lengthy name of Last Night When I Tried To Sleep I Felt The Ocean With My Fingertips, was somewhat a departure for Amit’s style of focusing mainly on acoustic guitar work as an orchestra to the song, and going for more of an orchestrated arrangements. Producer Or Bahir (fellow musician to Amit in their band Eatliz), has taken the producer roll with great care and the two managed to take the 10 songs features in Last Night, and make them into a poetic and thoughtful school of songwriting meets arrangements.
The album was warmly regarded as the best indie album of the year, and Amit headed on to establish the Paper Cuts duo. Shapira who also played in the record, joins Amit to justify the Gestalt theory, positioning herself in the arrangement as much more than a cello-player-escorting-the-leader-onstage, but enhancing the songs in such ways that it’s almost difficult to hear the songs without them. The match is perfect, and the shows are intimate and mesmerizing.
The duo had decided to record couple of the songs into a short EP, titled simply Paper Cuts, and it’s available in the duo’s shows, Amit’s solo shows, and in Amit’s label webstore.
In February, Amit will release Last Night in Germany, Austria and Swiss, a release that will be promoted with a local tour.
Endings Get An Early Start