Record Review: Papercuts

Fading Parade
San Francisco, CA

“The parade is here to stay”

Fading Parade, the fourth full-length from San Francisco’s Papercuts, pays tribute to shoegazers of the past and present as it etches its own name in the annals of dream pop. The album’s energetic opener, “Do You Really Wanna Know,” kicks off with a shimmering electric guitar riff, twangy bass, and a distant pounding of drums that lead the way for frontman Jason Quever’s weary, reverb-soaked voice. Most of the tracks here don’t stray too far from this prototype, which is not at all a bad thing.

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The more upbeat and energetic tracks, like “Do What You Will,” evoke the hazy consciousness of dream pop innovators the Jesus and Mary Chain, while mellower numbers like “I’ll See You Later, I Guess” recall the laid-back flair of modern genre purveyors (and past Papercuts collaborators) Beach House.

But Quever doesn’t use the past as a crutch; he foregoes the use of old hooks or repetitive refrains. His songs are infectious in much more subtle ways, fueled by a consistent atmosphere and stunningly crafted melodies that linger long after the 38 minutes are through. At that point, it’s clear that the lilting vocals and solid pop offerings on Fading Parade pay dividends to those with an attentive ear and a penchant for reverie. (Sub Pop)

-Daryl Lazaro

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