Last Friday night, Los Angeles’ Silverlake
venue, The Satellite
, hosted a night of atmospheric dream pop, headlined by singer/songwriter/producer Jason Rober Quever’s ambitious, evocative project, Papercuts
. As soon as the San Francisco-based quartet set foot on stage, the crowd rose to its feet and doubled in size, eager to witness the tight, meticulous live performance the band is known for. Quever’s indie rock outfit teeters on the brink of shoegaze and dream pop while maintaining a freak-folk feel likened to acts like Devendra Banhart
. But where Banhart steals the show, Quever is quite the opposite. “I don’t want to hit people over the head. That’s just not who I am. I don’t necessarily like to be the center of attention,” the shy musician admitted to Sub Pop
, the label that put out Papercuts’ latest release, Fading Parade
. His reserved nature was evident during the band’s set. He did not stand in front of his bandmates, but next to them, and rarely did he speak in between songs, except to ask for someone to bring a drink on stage for him. “I just took some cold medicine, so I’m a little dried up. I promise I’ll pay you back,” he pledged.
It was apparent that Quever was suffering from a cold. His voice was not quite at its full potential, drastically shortening his range. But as the set progressed, he eased up, and by the time Papercuts played its single “Do What You Will,” the singer’s wispy, breathy voice was finally in shape. However, where the vocals lacked, the instrumentation flourished. The band was dead-on, with tight percussion, steady bass, jangling keys, and shimmering guitars. It was easy to dismiss Quever’s vocal shortcomings as he mesmerized you with whimsical guitar riffs and catchy chord progressions.
After the foursome struck its last chord and ended its 45-minute-long set, the crowd begged for more, cheering for an encore. With four albums under its belt, Papercuts surely had enough material for a longer set, and graciously gave its audience what it wanted, leaving every fan standing, satisfied.