Papercuts Can't Go Back

A compatriot of Devendra Banhart (who isn’t?), Jason Quever’s personal bio weaves a grand tale of commune living, nomad-ism and casual crime, all in the service of music. Recording his own compositions as Papercuts, this is less what people would deem "freak folk” and more sunny and straightforward folk with a decidedly hippie bent. There’s a simplicity to Quever’s vision that charms but sometimes the artifice of the genre rears its ugly head and the songs become less him and more "isn’t this clever?” Opener "Dear Employee” sets the perfect mood, as the bright drum beat fits perfectly with Quever’s thin, yet affecting, voice. "Summer Long” works quite well, as the atmospherics are less sunny and a tad more melancholy. The song’s combination of boy/girl harmonies, organ and repeating chorus shows that Quever has a knack for quietly epic statements. Some other songs on the album seem to wallow in a ’60s era low-key vibe that is both intriguing and annoying. Songs like "Unavailable” and "Outside Looking In” are definitely great songs but they have a dated feel and it seems like Quever is hiding behind his love for nostalgic sounds. However, don’t let it detract from the fact that Quever is definitely a talent to watch, as his pining voice and knack for harmony are definitely endearing. (Gnomonsong)