Straight out of the bat: fantastic name. Letting up despite great faults. Sounds like my life. Paper crush is oooh, summery, shoegazey and 80s dance and … hang on a second! Only an EP?
Yup. 6 songs, 20 minutes. Sigh, needed a bit more.
You see, the Paper Crush EP feels more like a sampler than a full circle record. It’s beautifully laid up, though, with each of the Sinister Six tracks neatly put in the right order. It really flows. From the opening chords of the sweet ‘Repeating hearts’ until the reverb heavy fade out of ‘Helium’ (sounds like a balloon losing its wind!), there is rhyme to these sunny, happy drenched music. It’s a good continuation of the ideas that this Los Angeles based band laid out on their début album, Letting up despite great faults.
So what exactly is the sound of this band? Like I said, it’s sunny and warm, in the way an old faded polaroid in a family scrapbook might make you think of days gone bye (and fashions ripe for resurgence). Lead singer Michael Lee‘s voice is full of that unnamed feeling you get when you are laying by the grass and watching the tree leaves being pushed around by the wind. You are not thinking about anything at all, but your mind wanders and your emotions might commandeer your attention.
The mood, as you can understand, it’s mostly happy. Not so that it falls into tweeness (nothing wrong with that) but it hopscotchs happily between electronica (vintage 80s), dream pop and shoegaze. ‘Teenage tide’ would be a good example of this daft mix of genres I just threw into your screen. Sorry, I’m watching the ficus outside my window.
It’s also the little audio tricks that Letting up despite great faults pull. ‘Teenage tide’ has an abrupt ending and ‘I feel you happen’ starts as a lovely ambient peace until it decides to go skateboarding down a gravelly slope. Again, Michael Lee‘s voice is like the wind in your ears while you go down the hill, possibly thinking “oh shit! I’m gonna die!” but still laughing all the way down, probably into a couple of scrapped knees and a fit of laughter. The bass line here is immensely good and the solo is wonderful. My fave track, definitely.
‘Aurora’ and ‘Sofia in gold’ are the slower, hug-happy songs. They are real honey sweet and you really can’t keep frowning after listening to them. Mood enhancers without the nasty side-effects.
The “why is this only 20 minutes? I’m still going to complain!” EP finishes in a sort of bookending way: ‘Helium’ sports a similar beat to ‘Repeating hearts’, but it feels a little more moody, a little more in the shade of “goodbye”. It was a fun afternoon compressed into disc and offered to ears hungry of some happy music. Job well done, Letting up despite great faults, happy dreams will be swirling in this tired head.