Life Among The Savages
Fresh from helping Dean Wareham on his debut solo release, Jason Quever returns to (quietly/subtly) knock it out of the park once again with/as Papercuts, and the fifth album might be this project’s best – certainly it’s hard to fault, nine songs and not a dud here, every one of them a dreamy, soft, close-to-perfect anti-rock song. Lush, beautiful – ever-so-slightly-trippy – arrangements allow Quever to suggest that he’s writing the songs that Loaded-era VU might have carried on with if they’d, well, carried on.
It’s softer, calmer than previous albums – and though that gauzy voice might be all introspection this isn’t ever a shoegaze thing; these are songs informed by the gorgeousness of Bacharach and Beatles at their most baroque – these are songs that feel like some of Wareham’s best if dressed up rather than down.
Easter Morning is the epic track here – a huge swell of emotions inside this song, all delivered along a simple piano hook but whether it’s the almost nightclub-y New Body or the newly romantic title track, the VU chug of Family Portrait or the Luna/Lush languidness of Psychic Friends everything here feels like a tiny, perfect creation.
Where previously Quever made some of the best Record Collection Pop around now he’s making truly great Jason Quever albums; yes, it’s only a subtle difference. But it’s the little – subtle – differences that elevate this album. He’s one of the best indie-pop songwriters around at the moment and this is so close to perfect; his tiny little masterpiece made up of nearly-symphonies.