Papercuts - Fading Parade (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Fading Parade (2011)

Sub Pop

Papercuts caught my attention thanks to the ties they seem to have with Beach House, having toured with the band and done production work for them. Cut from the same relative cloth, it's a sensible parallel to draw–Papercuts, the vehicle for Jason Quever, creates light, airy indie pop with the occasional dream pop tilt, a lush patchwork that may not achieve the overall brilliance or much of the emotional depth that captivates so strongly on Beach House's 2010 breakout Teen Dream, but instead develops its own refreshingly concise and reverb-marinated sound.

Not surprisingly, Quever's most effective on Fading Parade–the project's, like, sixth full-length or something–when he's playing to the simple strengths of soft-loud: "Do What You Will" finds him breathily waving away subtly nimble verses, and wailing memorable melodies during the chorus, with temperate sparkles and rippling chords splayed among it. "Marie Says You've Changed" has warm cooing that resonates well. But even steadier moments like "Chills" and "The Messenger", the latter with its atmospheric acoustic stretch, fare well as relative ambience with modest effectualness. No matter what the mode, it's lush, too. Vintage keyboards with a tinge of fuzz add psychedelia-light vibes to cuts like "I'll See You Later I Guess" and "Wait Til I'm Dead" (not unlike, well, Devotion). He unintentionally harkens to Discover America's mix of electronic spheres, folk tones and hushed emotion with the wandering "Winter Daze".

Fading Parade is a bit smeary, but it's an easygoing and occasionally enchanting affair. If you try to put it in the same light as the above comparison, it's barely a contest; separate the two and Parade emerges as its own economically viable, lighter-hearted variation.

Do You Really Wanna Know
Do What You Will