Review by Amber Pearce. Photos by Stephanie Meza.
Papercuts captivated an intimate gathering at Emo’s indoors on April 5. The thud and swell of front man Jason Quever’s guitar and the breezy buildup of the keys highlighted the main event: Quever’s otherworldly vocal style. With a sincerity not often found in the music industry, front man Quever enchanted the audience with his ethereal voice. With fuzzy lyrics fading in and out of comprehension and blending into a swirl of melody, glimpses of hope gleamed like foreign coins in the sea of shoegaze with lyrics like, “Why can’t we be/Can’t we just be/Poor and free?” Papercuts meld their mellow vibe akin to the likes of Low and incorporate a Nirvana-like flair on their faster songs.
The band interspersed past favorites such as “Future Primitive,” with its 60’s-sounding drum beat, and “John Brown,” with its alt-country interlude, with selections from the group’s fourth album, “Fading Parade,” released by Sub Pop last month. The members engaged in minimal dialog with the audience, yet Quever did speak after the last song. His words were inaudible because he spoke before the enthusiastic applause was over, but the band still made a lasting impact. Indeed, when Quever and the band set down their instruments and stepped down from the stage, they were approached by a throng of admirers and paused to converse and pose for group photos with fans. Most of the audience seemed already familiar with the group as people were purchasing merchandise before the band even came out on stage. The band is beginning to receive the attention demanded by their talent with a recent review on NPR and an appearance on KUT.
Signed last year to Sub Pop, their sound falls into line with the label’s other acts but with a dreamier quality. Papercuts hails from San Francisco and is primarily Jason Quever on vocals and guitar, recording and touring with a constantly changing group of musicians.