Thursday, April 15, 2010

No rock needed for Paper Beat Scissors

Tim Crabtree (along with a handful of other Haligonian musicians) has crafted a gem of a little EP that came out of nowhere. On Tuesday when I returned to my desk at the station, Flicker was waiting among the piles of envelopes that had accumulated. Something about the handcrafted cardboard package and artwork caught my eye and it was one of the first discs I popped in to give a whirl while replying to a pile (mound? plethora?) of emails.

It's a quiet record, but one that draws you in and demands your attention right from the opening notes of the title-track. Guitar and strings create a propulsive yet restrained pace before Crabtree's wispy vocals come in at the half-minute mark. I know that an epithet like 'wispy' can lead some listeners to dismiss a vocalist for not being weighty or substantial but Crabtree's voice still has resonance and muscle to it. I guess it might be the equivalent of bamboo - it bends but it doesn't break.

The music meanwhile is 'folk' in the loosest of senses. While Crabtree lists Sun Kil Moon as an influence (and it can certainly be heard in tunes like "Bad Days"), I'd be more inclined to draw comparisons to fellow East Coast-ers Ghost Bees and past Ear To The Sound favourites Timber Timbre and Evening Hymns. There's an off-kilter approach to songcraft, never taking the easy way when a new path through the sonic bushes can be carved. The aforementioned "Bad Days" has some lovely electronic and noise elements mixed in with the insistent percussion.

I hadn't intended to write a new post quite so hot on the heels of my Slow Club/Slow Six one yesterday, but in looking up info on Paper Beat Scissors I discovered that Crabtree will be in Winnipeg TONIGHT (April 15th) to play at Ragpickers so I thought I'd post this in the hopes that a few people might head down to the Exchange. AND I just got a call from Crabtree who is going to drop by UMFM today to record a few songs and an interview for an upcoming episode of my show.

Time to get ready for that interview, but before I go, take a gander at the video for the title track.

And be sure to check the Paper Beat Scissors Myspace page.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...

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