My obsession for this last week has been the song Lazy Bones – a teaser Papermoons posted for their upcoming album on their Myspace. If there have been cries of 2008 being a rough year for Houston music (Proletariat’s closing, the ongoing travails of SHFL, etc. ), let me just say that Papermoons are prepared to clean the slate and raise the bar. Papermoons show how you can accomplish more with understatement and simplicity than any overdriven Marshall, screaming rawk vocalist, or histrionic Xiu Xiu emoting song could ever dream of.
There are no gimmicks in this song. In fact, if you break it down, what do we have? Most of the song is just straight C to F with a bridge that rises to G – a straight 1-4-5. That’s pretty basic stuff. But the band makes it work because they start with a strong melody and back it up with brilliant harmonies and enviable phrasing in which there are, on occasion, words you cannot make out simply because the phrasing chooses emotion over articulation. That kind of instinct is priceless.
Consider the transition between the opening and the first verse. The opening starts with a simple waltz where the chords ring each measure, the drums ride softly off the cymbals, and the vocals let the notes hover, then, with a short melodic run, the song plows into the first verse. The meter hasn’t changed, the chords are still C to F, but there is this lovely momentum in that change and they do this by simply having the guitars, drums, and vocal melody emphasize the beat. In other words, they simply hang back then hit the beat. It’s subtle but horribly effective and the reason it works is because it’s all so organic and natural in feel.
It’s gorgeous music performed with singular confidence and emotion that reaches in and grabs your heart and stops all the noise and clutter around you! It’s 3:53 of pure beauty and if that isn’t good enough for you then you have no soul!
I can’t wait for the album this summer!