Papercuts – You Can Have What You Want (Sub Pop Records)

Although the “s” at the end of Papercuts would lead you to believe they’re a band, it’s actually just Californian Jason Robert Quever and a few guest musicians. Quever has recorded with a ton of indie acts including Devendra Banhart, Vetiver, The Skygreen Leopards and Cass McCombs, but it’s his own work that deserves some recognition. The album, his third as Papercuts, reminds me of Grandaddy or Maximillian Hecker, thanks to Quever’s soft almost-falsetto which he wraps in layers of gauzy synths to the point where they’re obscured and lyrics are difficult to pick out (there is a lyric sheet, and the words are actually pretty good). Quaver resists the urge to turn up the volume and rock out, letting the chamber-like arrangements and weird “summer’s almost over” vibe of the music carry on in an intelligent, and even classy, way that hearkens back ’60s pop genius of The Beach Boys, Motown and The Zombies. Given the soft dreamy sound of the album, it doesn’t always demand your complete attention but when it does, like on the stunning opener “Once We Walked In The Sunlight”, it’s a sublime listen and the perfect soundtrack for an afternoon spent floating away in contemplative thought.