Richard Papiercuts: If 12"

Ever / Never Records


Influenced in equal measure by both sides of the street and the top and bottom of the charts, RICHARD PAPIERCUTS’ IF sets a new standard for ambitious pop music on a shoestring budget. Meticulously recorded throughout New York City over the course of a turbulent year, Papiercuts & co. traffic in shades of light and dark. Like a master of ceremonies at an underground cabaret, Papiercuts—a mystery man of uncertain origin and pedigree—is an expert guide to the many quandaries of a modern metropolitan existence. IF is unafraid to explore a complex inner life rife with anxiety and doubt, yet it revels in the sensual pleasures only the contemporary cityscape can provide. IF is the ultimate marriage of subversive, underground sensibilities and classic songwriting craftsmanship silhouetted on a larger-than-life canvas. This music encompasses an ordinary life played out in widescreen. We are all our own celluloid heroes, Papiercuts seems to be telling us. Embrace your starring role, be your biggest fan.

Our take: I've been living with this record for a few weeks now and I feel like I still can't make heads or tails of it. I'm still not even sure if I really like it, but I know that I want to keep listening to it, mostly because it sounds like nothing else I've heard before. I hear elements that seem familiar--the Stooges-influenced dirge of the Birthday Party, the campy vocal delivery of Roxy Music, the songwriting sensibility of 80s new wave and pop--but all put together in a way that feels completely new. I'm sure that plenty of people will absolutely hate this record, if nothing else because it sounds so novel, but if you're the kind of person who chases after the newest sounds and who likes every record in your collection to be a unique little snowflake that has never been duplicated, then you will love this. Unless you hate saxophone, but chasers of the new sounds really do need, almost by their very definition, to be down with the saxophone. I realize that I haven't really described what this record sounds like, but I don't think I'm going to try because I don't want to rob you of the chance to hear this record for the first time and let it grate and grind against your expectations as you try to figure out whether the sensation is pleasurable or painful.
Tags: 10s melodic new york post-punk recommended weird