Papercuts

Can't Go Back

Papercuts is the alias of one Jason Quever, a Bay-area dude whose résumé includes stints with Cass McCombs and Vetiver. Can't Go Back, his second album, invokes a warm, sunny sound, recalling northern California circa 1968. Papercuts could be called a lo-fi version of The Byrds; like The Byrds, Quever takes you into country, blues, rock and folk all at once. It's not all sweethearts at rodeos, though. Quever may sound like he's 16 at times, but if you dig deep, his narratives are lined with loneliness and good, old-fashioned, honest introspection (even when he's lamenting that pain is just another thing to dust). That may be pretty much the blueprint for all singer-songwriters, but Quever pulls it off because he never overindulges. There are some string sections here and there, and the piano has a heavy presence on "Found Bird," but his strong point is his dreamy-sounding, meditative, passionate voice. And that's all you really need in your singer-songwriter. Can't Go Back is retro in a lot of ways, but genuine in more.

 
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