Papercuts - Primer - Brooks Young Band (feat: Ruth Clapton) - Basement Revolver
""I Want My Jacket Back" started out as a bit of absurdist fun, as I was feeling at my wits' end during the end of the US election cycle." -Jason Quever
Jason Quever has been releasing timeless guitar-based dream pop as Papercuts since 2004, impervious to trends or micro genres that have come and gone around him. In that regard, his contemporaries are artists like Hiss Golden Messenger, Fruit Bats, Andy Shauf or Kings of Convenience – artists who are more concerned with song craft and perfecting their sound, and less concerned with gimmicks or fitting into a specific scene. Past Life Regression is his new album and it's a journey into the dreamier reaches of psychedelic folk-pop that digs deep into influences as wide-ranging as The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Spiritualized, Echo & The Bunnymen, Leonard Cohen and late 60s pop of various flavors.
Crafted shortly after Jason's relocation back to the San Francisco Bay Area after several years in LA, the new album revels in the tensions between the pleasures of homecoming and the collective miseries of the pandemic and our current political upheaval. The return home and the enforced isolation of lockdown lend the album a mood of contemplation and immersion in memory. The results are beguiling, from the lush sunshine pop harmonies of first single "I Want My Jacket Back" to the trippy farfisa-driven space-pop of "Lodger" to the gorgeous, Bunnymen-tinged "Palm Sunday."
As always, Jason's songcraft, arranging and production are immaculate, (Quever has been tapped to work with dream pop luminaries Dean Wareham and Beach House as of late) as evidenced by the elegant chamber-pop of "My Sympathies" and the epic flow of "The Strange Boys," “Hypnotist" and "Remarry" in the album's warbly second half. The mood of longing and recollection is a perfect match for the album's dreamy textures and for the unusual times we're living through. It's a true testament to the resilience of the Papercuts project that after several acclaimed albums, Jason still has much that's new to say, and is continually finding new ways to say it.
|Photo - Blake Doyle|
Primer (AKA Alyssa Midcalf) makes stadium sized electro pop bangers with bubbly synths, thumping bass and lofty choruses. Quote from Alyssa: Just A Clown is a self effacing pop song about feeling like you’re constantly failing. It’s a song to scream-sing along to by yourself in the car after getting rejected or feeling humiliated. It’s about coming to terms with the knowledge that the game is rigged but continuing to play along because it’s never occurred to you to quit.
“There were experiences that hit me hard emotionally, moments in my life that hit me in a weird way,” Alyssa Midcalf shares when asked about the inspiration behind her latest album, Incubator. “I felt like the only way to process them was to write about them.”
In 2019, under the performance moniker Primer, Midcalf released her first solo album Novelty. And now, the vocalist and electronic producer, has put the full wealth of her experience, from life to music into her sophomore album, Incubator, sharing honest, and sometimes harrowing, stories from her own life through a pop-tinted lens.
Brooks Young Band's new song, Promises. The song originally made famous by Eric Clapton, has now been covered by Brooks Young Band featuring Ruth Clapton, the daughter of the guitar legend. Brooks Young and Ruth Clapton became friends during the pandemic and started working on new music. Ruth always loved her Dad's Promises recording, so Brooks and Ruth decided to record a new version of the classic track.
You can hear how well the two of their voices harmonize. In this classic rock/country song, Brooks Young adds smooth bluesy guitar licks underneath his and Ruth Clapton's vocals. Ruth's warm, heartfelt vocals remind you of the classic harmony sung initially by Marcy Levy on the 1978 Backless album released by Eric Clapton.
Brooks Young has toured extensively throughout the USA, sharing the stage with icons such as B.B. King, George Thorogood, John Waite, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, The Wallflowers, Boyd Tinsley of Dave Matthews Band, Byran Adams, Robert Cray, and many others.
==========================================================================Basement Revolver - Circles.
Basement Revolver has always centered around the friendship of bassist/keyboardist Nim Agalawatte and guitarist/vocalist Chrisy Hurn. Lead guitarist Jonathan Malström and drummer Levi Kertesz round out the band’s larger-than-life sound.
The band’s catalogue spans back to their breakout single, 2016’s “Johnny.” That single, and their self-titled EP from the same year, led to their signing with Fear of Missing Out in the UK, and later, Canada’s Sonic Unyon Records.
Heavy Eyes, their debut LP, built on their aesthetic which merges hardcore-inspired indie and ambient dream pop. In support of that they toured throughout the US, Canada, the UK, and Germany. With tour plans on hold through 2020, Basement Revolver found time to wrestle with questions about identity, faith, mental illness, and sexuality.
Their sophomore LP, Embody, is explicit about these new ideas and new thoughts, addressing them with a deeper sound and crisper production to adroitly express the complexity of the world. It is an album of friendship, of working out identity together, and making deeply personal art.