Today Papercuts, the solo project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Jason Quever, announces its new album, Past Life Regression, due April 1 on Slumberland and on Labelman in Europe. It’s the second Papercuts LP for Slumberland, following 2018’s excellent Parallel Universe Blues and the seventh album from the project overall. Check out the video for “I Want My Jacket Back” featuring a group of paper dolls attempting to leave a cult. Also available now is the hazy B-side “The Strange Boys.” You can pre-order the album here.
Quever offers some background on the two new songs:
“I WANT MY JACKET BACK” – It started out as a bit of absurdist fun, as I was feeling at my wits’ end during the end of the US election cycle. I was thinking about someone I met in LA who seemed to believe every absurd conspiracy theory they heard, even some that seemed to contradict each other. At the same time, I was for the first time considering leaving the US. I felt robbed of a sense of security and faith in humanity, and was missing a sense of normalcy. It may have been an illusion in the first place, but a pleasant one.”
“THE STRANGE BOYS” – I pictured a Twilight Zone style black and white story about a group of teens that communicate with a supernatural entity. Later I realized it’s probably an analogy about what happens to the spirit upon death. Anyhow, it shows off what real mellotron flutes sound like when you abuse the pitch knob.
Jason Quever has been releasing timeless guitar-based dream pop as Papercuts since 2004, impervious to trends or micro genres that have come and gone around him. In that regard, his contemporaries are artists like Hiss Golden Messenger, Fruit Bats, Andy Shauf or Kings of Convenience – artists who are more concerned with song craft and perfecting their sound, and less concerned with gimmicks or fitting into a specific scene. Past Life Regression is his new album and it’s a journey into the dreamier reaches of psychedelic folk-pop that digs deep into influences as wide-ranging as The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Spiritualized, Echo & The Bunnymen, Leonard Cohen and late 60s pop of various flavors.
Crafted shortly after Jason’s relocation back to the San Francisco Bay Area after several years in LA, the new album revels in the tensions between the pleasures of homecoming and the collective miseries of the pandemic and our current political upheaval. The return home and the enforced isolation of lockdown lend the album a mood of contemplation and immersion in memory. The results are beguiling, from the lush sunshine pop harmonies of first single “I Want My Jacket Back” to the trippy farfisa-driven space-pop of “Lodger” to the gorgeous, Bunnymen-tinged “Palm Sunday.”
As always, Jason’s songcraft, arranging and production are immaculate, (Quever has been tapped to work with dream pop luminaries Dean Wareham and Beach House as of late) as evidenced by the elegant chamber-pop of “My Sympathies” and the epic flow of “The Strange Boys,” “Hypnotist” and “Remarry” in the album’s warbly second half. The mood of longing and recollection is a perfect match for the album’s dreamy textures and for the unusual times we’re living through. It’s a true testament to the resilience of the Papercuts project that after several acclaimed albums, Jason still has much that’s new to say, and is continually finding new ways to say it.
press photo by Amy Marco
video by David Enos
02/10 Los Angeles, CA – Gold Diggers w/ Massage
02/26 San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill w/ Chime School
Past Life Regression
(Slumberland / Labelman)
Street Date: April 1, 2022
2. Sinister Smile
3. Fade Out
4. I Want My Jacket Back
5. My Sympathies
6. The Strange Boys
7. Palm Sunday
10. Comb In Your Hair