Pajo Pajo

Pajo Pajo
Very few underground artists have a résumé as colourful and distinguished as David Pajo. In the last two decades, Pajo has earned cult hero status as guitarist in post-rock innovators Slint, established an impressive solo career around the letter "M” (Aerial M, Papa M, etc) and spent time in a number of significant bands (Tortoise, Zwan, Royal Trux, Palace). Now on the verge of assembling the metal band Dead Child, he’s dropped a solo album under his real name. Pajo is a one-off album that broadens the already vast spectrum his career has covered. Essentially, the instrumentation on the album is no revelation — Pajo is by his lonesome, rotating his patented atmospheric electric guitar strokes with folky strums of his acoustic. The real surprise is his sweet and tender voice that reveals a true gift for melody. Well known for his vocal shyness, Pajo has discovered a beautiful and tender tone that rivals the work of Elliott Smith. Both "Ten More Days” and "Icicles” could easily be mistook for Smith’s Kill Rock Stars catalogue, and "Let Me Bleed,” with its exotic hush, has enough splendour to be deemed his best work yet. Long-time fans will love it automatically, but Pajo may just be the record that finds this extraordinary musician an audience outside of the normal indie crowd. It certainly deserves too.

What made you decide to use "Pajo” instead of "Papa M”? It seemed like Papa M was going that direction anyways, so I just wanted to make this a one-off release that was special. It’s kind of a different singing style, so I thought it was time for a change.

The melody in your voice is a nice change. I was singing in that style because at the time I would record most of my song ideas on my laptop in New York when my roommate was asleep. I didn’t want to wake her so I would sing really quietly and then I got used to hearing the songs sung in that hushed tone, rather than my normal style.

Is it true you recorded the whole album with your laptop software? Yeah, because I was in New York and all I had was my laptop. It came with GarageBand, which I’d never used before except as a way to not forget songs. I think I just got used to the demo versions of the songs and liked them more than the higher quality versions I did when I’d go back home to Kentucky. I didn’t plan on it, but I ended up making the entire record on this cheap audio software. (Drag City)