New Tales

Written by: TL on 15/01/2010 19:18:21

Okay, so here's an album that's been a problem child for a while now. Initially, Papermoons' debut album "New Tales" found its way to a pile of releases on my desktop, and somehow I forgot that it was a promo and should have thus been finished by new year. Tough break, but once I realized that I had erred, I doubled back and started giving the record spin upon spin on my home stereo, with every intention of reviewing it as soon as possible... Yet, somehow, something kept getting in the way, every time I sat down to do so. Tonight however, nothing's going to stop me, so let's dig in and see what this Deep Elm duo is up to.

The two guys in in Papermoons call their stuff "minimalist / indie / electronica", and go for a less-is-more kind of approach to songwriting, something which doesn't come as a surprise as "Live Right" kicks off the record with a laid back drumbeat, some crusty guitar, some soft vocals and not much else. The chilled out vibe and high pitched chorus immediately reminds me of Death Cab For Cutie and some of the songs on "Plans", and that comparison isn't one that weakens over the next couple of songs. On "Follow The Sun", the feeling does get a bit more twangy, as a direct result of the guitar sound doing the same, and hence my thoughts drift casually with the music, over to a band like Dear And The Headlights.

Those are really all the references you should need to put this band's sound on the map, but I'll throw in an extra one for good measure, namely because I can't shake the feeling that there's a certain similarity between the song "Lazy Bones" and the sound of a song on"Cinematographic" (an album by The Junior Varsity). Regardless, the main things to notice about Papermoons is that a) they truly do get a lot out of simplistic guitar/drum/vocal interplay and are very credible and easily enjoyable, and b) that they share not only those qualities with a lot of other Deep Elm bands, but also the one I feel normally restrains me from awarding our highest grade to them. Namely that for all the oddity and curiosity of the soundscape, the songs on offer are merely cool and/or interesting, yet not really great or captivating. It should take little more than a spin of "Plans" or "Small Steps, Heavy Hooves" by the bands in the FFO section to prove that similar things have been done to somewhat greater effect, and as such, I'm afraid Papermoons have waited a long while to have their stuff remarked upon as merely "cool" instead of "awesome".

Download: Live Right, Find Me An Island, Lazy Bones
For The Fans Of: Death Cab For Cutie, Dear And The Headlights
Listen: New Tales @ Deep Elm Records

Release Date 11.11.2009
Deep Elm Records

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