Dealing with overwhelming emotions is an all too familiar task for Jason Robert Quever, the mastermind behind Papercuts. The San Francisco-based singer, songwriter, producer and engineer can trace his beginnings in these endeavors to the time immediately following his mother's death -- an event that orphaned him. His first 4-track recorder, purchased soon afterward, was surely a mechanism to help him cope with the past, but turned out to also be an inspirational tool that guided his future.
On the Papercuts' new album Life Among the Savages, a maturity is present that can only come from years of overcoming tough circumstances and trying to understand the feelings that follow.
Quever has a history of collaborating with artists, such as Vetiver, Cass McCombs and Beach House, to create unique sounds that define the recordings for many listeners. With Savages, he appears to have reached a "sound pinnacle" of sorts that could very well extend his music to a much broader audience, much like Teen Dream did for Beach House. These songs are musical landscapes in the truest sense. There's a lot to take in and process -- the melancholy of confusion coupled with the joy of ignorance -- but there's a certain wonder throughout.
"Still Knocking At The Door," the record's opening track, sets the tone perfectly. Quever's vocals are effortless and breathy but also reach an intensity at times that creates tension, only to gently release the listener back into the relaxed groove. The song, along with the memorable track "Family Portrait," is a little loose and carefree. These tunes have a weightlessness to them that keep the surrounding numbers afloat.