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Discover Deep Elm

01. Live Right
02. Find Me An Island
03. Bad Notes
04. Follow The Sun
05. Holy Cow
06. Honesty
07. Front Porch
08. Lazy Bones  
09. Behind The Frame
10. Car Lights

Bonus (Deep Elm Digital only): Just Kids (Unreleased)
Less is more. It's a philosophy that Matt Clark and Daniel Hawkins of Papermoons understand quite well. The idea that you can say a whole lot more without screaming or shouting is evidenced by the brilliantly constructed songs on their debut New Tales. They use subtle transitions, gorgeous Simon & Garfunkel-esque harmonies, intricate performances and attention to every minute detail to create a unique mid-tempo mix of indie rock and indie folk that is truly captivating. Lyrics such as "I just wanna know / if my life is a joke / cause I breathe right / do I live right?" will capture your attention, your mind and perhaps even your soul. "There isn't a lyrical theme to the record, but more of an array of experiences. What we hope is that the listener can find comfort in our songs no matter their mood. We strive to make music that can both cheer someone up and also console. We've both been involved with playing music for many years now and what has been continually inspiring to us is the way in which music connects people" says Matt Clark. It's impossible to pick a favorite from this impressive collection of songs...because the reality is every single track on New Tales is a winner. Beautifully melodic, innocent songs with undercurrents of sadness and hope, New Tales is an album with no equal. (DER-487)

           


Reviews

"Four out of five stars! A great record...beautifully melodic songs with an undercurrent of sadness." - Alternative Press

"There's something disarmingly beautiful about New Tales. Not just the beauty contained in the songs, but also in the casual, almost nonchalant way this Texas twosome craft and perform them. Papermoons first came to my attention last summer when I ordered their inaugural 7-inch single. The hybrid of folk and indie rock music and the band's single-minded pursuit of the quietest and most beautiful sounds possible was striking. The signifiers most often used to describe the band and their music are as follows: soft, honest and gentle. None of those are inaccurate (although I'll be damned if I have any idea how one accurately portrays honesty in words, let alone songs...but trust me, these songs are nothing if not honest). Lyrically, Matthew Clark and Daniel Hawkins are concerned more with one's moral compass, living life in a mature and responsible way, loving and creating music, than they are writing mash notes to former girlfriends. Simple yet often poignant, the words are a big part in fostering a desire to continually revisit the album. The vocal performances are so soft and subtle, often slightly lower in the mix, melding with the background harmonies and the instruments so seamlessly they almost cease being words and become just another musical element. What's more, the harmonies and melodies are downright precious, the pair working in tandem to drive home that gentleness that is an overriding part of the songs. Musically, the level these guys are on as songwriters is mind-bogglingly mature, considering the baby-faces behind them. The arrangements spring forth from acoustic guitar parts that are gently, spryly plucked. Drums are played about as softly as is humanly possible while electric guitars are layered in to flesh out the sound. Other instruments are entered into the fold when needed (including a terrific harmonica run in 'Bad Notes') and when the songs rise and swell towards their endings, as they often do, everything rises together in a unified spirit. There's a great deal more electric guitar here than the single, but it's not typical distorted rock guitar. Like everything else, it serves only as another layer, a different kind of gentle sound that overpowers nothing else. The pace of the songs is also quite striking. Words like meandering, crawling, plodding all have negative connotations to them and don't really capture the feel you find here. What these performances have is patience, a certain satisfaction in taking time to get where they're going. Think Death Cab For Cutie's Stability EP or certain Low albums (though not what most would call 'low-core' I'm sure), that purposeful lag between snare strikes that really brings your focus to the technical ability of the players. Don't be surprised if you find yourself hitting the repeat button a few times over." - Sound Salvation Army

"Papermoons's skill at writing elegant and emotionally stirring music has grown in leaps and bounds. Their backbone is still mid-tempo indie pop that uses subtle transitions and dreamy vocals to craft hypnotic little crests of songs for the mellower moments in life. Where New Tales goes from "pleasant" to "must listen" is the way the group has evolved to create their own blend of post-emo, a musical destination that rests some place past Mineral influences but right before irony ruins any trace of real heart. By removing the waves of distortion from mid-western emo's softer side Papermoons find a careful mix of alt-country and indie rock that might just make you dig that old gas station attendant jacket out of your closet to relive the good old days. "Lazy Bones" and "Holy Cow" stick out from the admittedly impressive pack as examples of what this band is capable of, but the reality is every song here is a winner. I could spend another paragraph dissecting bridges and lyrics, but that would just be time you'd be wasting not ordering this record. How about I save us both the time and you just trust me, this one's a keeper." - Mammoth Press

"Papermoons are a fine example of how the capacity of sound emitted from two people - with the instruments and vocalizations that best fit them - will never cease to amaze me. Sacrilegious though it may sound, the indie folk rock duo from Houstin, TX, are as if Ben Gibbard [of The Postal Service] and Matt Thiessen [of Relient K] made a deal with John Lennon in another life on how to give off a sound style that could be taken apart and arranged by ear in about an hour - except not really. Unintended tricksters though they are, said style swaggers unassumingly in a sort of musical sprezzatura, if you will. Layered textures and intricate string arrangements run alongside a lyrical voice that is confident in conveying an understood, relatable naivete." - Beatcave

"Hailing from Austin, Texas, Papermoons combine indie rock and minimalist acoustic elements to create a distinct, authentic sound. The band consists of Matt Clark and Daniel Hawkins, who stated that 'less is more' is their philosophy. Indeed, their simple arrangements show a meticulous attention to details, which makes the songs so beautiful and intriguing despite their very little complexity. The first track, 'Live Right', opens up with a very Radioheadish sound which eventually changes as we progress through the song. Nevertheless, lyrics such as 'I just wanna know / If my life is a joke / Cause I breathe right / Do I live right?' show the band's fondness for highly philosophical lyrics. New Tales isn't a very joyful album, in a way that most tracks are melancholic, innocent pop melodies that are easily listenable whatever mood you are in. Most songs are equally good; there is no single here. However, every track shines in its own way. Papermoons make accessible music for everyone, you will get hooked immediately. Beautiful melodies, nice vocal harmonies, you will find comfort in these songs no matter how you feel." - Fueled Magazine

"The whole experience of the record is heartbreakingly beautiful. Papermoons carry forth the effect of this type of storytelling rather than the format. Theirs' are a fuzzy and indirect outline of the catharsis of pop emotion rather than the crisp rawness of a direct image where often far too little is left to the listener's imagination. Their songcraft and performance is the blocking of light to create a form rather than a dull mirror's reflection of what the artist wants you to see. And because of it, their troubadour compositions, in which the emoticon's parenthesis is almost universally open, come off as genuine, honest and at times utterly heartbreaking. New Tales combines simple (though not simplistic) instrumentation, melodic arrangements and un-ironic observations of the comings and goings of life and love from a universal parapet. There is a worn, almost surrendering authenticity to it, like dirty blond hair on a hot day pony-tailed with a ratty old elastic, cooling the neck at the risk of sunburn. Though the layering of their instruments has an integrated, study feel, even the strongest element, if removed from the hermetic seal of the quiet production and mastering, would seem as fragile as the thinnest piece of model aircraft landing gear. Their skill in communicating rests so strongly in the subtlety of it all. How the slightest change in intonation changes the emotional content of the refrain 'all we are is acquaintances/ all we are is past tense' from insecure statement-as-question to resigned truth, for example. Our personal favorite, from the record and the stage, is 'Lazy Bones', a song with a country root and without a pandering spirit. We could do this for every track, but we often get caught up in a pause, lasting only half a shiver, on 'Holy Cow'; when the drums, bass foot pedal, guitar and harmonica all come in at once, you're left utterly shattered. Heartbreaking is a word that we've been using alot with the Papermoons lately. If you buy one record for a long while, make it this one." - The Skyline

"The two guys in Papermoons go for a less-is-more kind of approach to songwriting, something which doesn't come as a surprise as Live Right kicks off the record with a laid back drumbeat, some crusty guitar and soft vocals. The chilled out vibe and high pitched chorus immediately reminds me of Death Cab For Cutie and some of the songs on Plans, and that comparison isn't one that weakens over the next couple of songs. On Follow The Sun, the feeling does get a bit more twangy, as a direct result of the guitar sound doing the same, and hence my thoughts drift casually with the music, over to a band like Dear And The Headlights. Papermoons truly do get a lot out of simplistic guitar/drum/vocal interplay and are very credible and easily enjoyable. Download: Live Right, Find Me An Island, Lazy Bones. For The Fans Of: Death Cab For Cutie, Dear And The Headlights." - RockFreaks

"It's the warmth that does it. New Tales feels soft and gentle and -- most of all -- somehow warm throughout, like a well-used blanket when you're really needing one. There's barely an offensive note here, just delicately-balanced harmony vocals that make Death Cab's Ben Gibbard sound like a thuggish ruffian by comparison, guitars that slip nicely from just-enough distortion to quiet jangliness, lots of brushed (or nearly brushed, anyway) drums, and the occasional bit of keys, all dressed up with lyrics so low-key and understated I find myself missing 'em completely 'til the second or third time through. These guys are really something; they're close compatriots to Winterpills, in that both bands play song that feel so delicate they might crumble at the touch, bury their emotions beneath layers of beautifully-crafted guitars and harmonies, and seem imbued with this down-but-not-out kind of sadness, the kind that kills you slowly rather than crushes you right at the outset. They hit countryish notes in a few places ('Lazy Bones,' in particular, but also 'Holy Cow,' which also has some nice, Joel Phelps-esque guitars), but they can rock, too, as they demonstrate ably on the urgent-sounding 'Find Me an Island,' 'Car Lights' (love how both tracks amp up near the end), and the seriously Death Cab-like (and great) 'Live Right.' Even then, though, the vocals are plaintive and (relatively) soft, gently pleading and quietly desperate. Of course, there's a lot of Elliott Smith-ing going on here (esp. on beautiful, beautiful 'Bad Notes'), but with the crucial difference that unlike Smith, who constantly seemed to be just shy of going off the rails completely and offing himself (making his eventual, tragic end not all that surprising, really), Papermoons feel ultimately content and peaceful. Like I said, they're like a blanket. This music makes me yearn for a fireplace to curl up in front of on a chilly, windy night, with the dogs at my feet and my daughter asleep in my arms. It's music for late nights when you're the only one awake and the TV's (thankfully) finally off, so it's down to just you and your thoughts 'til the dawn breaks through the trees in the backyard. There aren't many albums out there that fit that bill; here's one." - Space City Rock

"Gentle, jangly, dreamily mid-tempo indie-pop. There's an appreciable alt-country twang to the Austin duo's debut, and their understated melodies always hold a sad uplifting quality, like a tender hug after some devastating event has ripped through your life. Papermoons are here to put you back together again." - InForty

"Quaint, quiet and quirky is the name of the game on 'New Tales', the debut album filled with atmospheric sentiment, lulled guitar lines and oh so gentle vocals. Across ten tracks, Papermoons manages to tinker with a diminutive sound, sometimes stripped to the bones, sometimes padded with a little bit extra, that calmly (and that really is the best word to describe this release) leads you by the hand through the woods. There's the odd moment that is reminiscent of really (really) slow Jimmy Eat World ('Live Right') or early Foo Fighters ('Front Porch'). 'Honesty' sounds as though it's come straight from the film 'The Princess Bride', whilst there's even a little bit of a luau feel to 'Follow the Sun'. Like I say, quirky. The gentle and calming style does work and means that the music tends to do the talking for itself. Overall, 'New Tales' is intriguing, impressive, enjoyable and certainly makes a break from the norm. It's a piece of well constructed tranquil work." - Punktastic

"For me, this was the high watermark of music released in Houston this year and would put it up against anything outside of the city. New Tales was never far from my CD player. This was an album I picked up over and over again - stunned at how brilliantly constructed the whole thing is. I guess I'm a sucker for the juxtaposition of beautifully melodic songs with an undercurrent of sadness. With gorgeous harmonies, understated performances, and the idea that you can say a lot more without shouting...this was an album with no equal." - Free Press

"This is a subtle indie rock album, bordering on Midwestern folk in the style of Saddle Creek bands such as early Bright Eyes and Lullabies for the Working Class. It's very mellow and sounds to my ears like what Built to Spill might sound like re-imagined as a folk band. Good stuff." - BJtheAuthor

"New Tales builds on melancholic pop melodies with their own identity. Papermoons are an unusual enough band to warrant genuine excitement." - Punk News

"Papermoons are helping to define a new direction for indie rock that largely eschews the punk, noise and psychedelic influences that have dominated for the past two decades. They deliver intricate arrangements, attention to detail and an acute sensitivity." - Houston Press