Album Reviews: Papercuts, Toro Y Moi

Fading Parade by Papercuts

Papercuts is chillwave/psychadelic project by San Franciscan Jason Quever. 2009’s release, “You Can’t Have What You Want” saw Quever introducing more dreamy/blurry/electronic elements than ever before. The results were substandard. Probably because you could hardly hear Quever’s breathy, nearly whispered vocals peaking through all the distortion and other elements. “Fading Parade” finds the bay area native returning to more classic ‘indie rock’ aesthetics. A lot of the riffs and melodic elements in songs like the particularly good, “Do What You Will”  are not really that far from bands like The Shins or even the Pixies, just more gentle and distant. Collectively though it’s hard for the album to not feel a little sleepy. I can’t help but find myself wishing Quever would speak up a little, but he continues to be about as audible as if you sort of overheard someone whispering a secret to someone else.

Do what you will

Do You Really Wanna know

Fading Parade: 2.5 out of 5

Underneath the Pine by Toro y Moi

“Underneath the Pine” is an example of another ‘chillwaver’ (Chaz Bundick)  introducing new sounds. It’s really more of an experimental pop record than anything else, maybe this is an effort to not be lumped in with that whole musical movement and therefore overgeneralized. Whatever the reason, the decision is refreshing. With plenty of familiar sounds like the disco funk of “New Beat”, the ‘Radio Dept.(ish)’ synthy bop of “Go With You”, or the classic piano and bass driven appeal of the instrumental “Divina”, Bundick has created a shockingly accessible album that flows pretty easily from one song to the next. I can’t say that there is a lot on “Underneath the Pine” that I will need to have on repeat over and over, but it’s a relaxing and inviting pop album nonetheless.

Go With You

Divina

Underneath the Pine: 3.5 out of 5.

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