Bereits der erste Blick auf das Cover von " Past Perfect " lässt einen an New Order denken. Aber es dauert eine...

Paperfangs - Past Perfect

Bereits der erste Blick auf das Cover von "Past Perfect" lässt einen an New Order denken. Aber es dauert einen Moment, bis man weiß warum: Eingerahmt hängt dort "Bowl Of Roses" von Henri Fantin-Latour aus dem Jahre 1889. Und ein Gemälde ("A Basket Of Roses") des gleichen Malers hatte sich auch Peter Saville für die Gestaltung von New Orders Cover zu "Power, Corruption & Lies" (1983) ausgewählt.

Paperfangs sind Jyri, Tarleena und Mikko, "a brother, a sister and a friend", wie sie sich selbst beschreiben. Das aus Helsinki und Tampere stammende Trio veröffentlichte 2010 ("ePop006") und 2012 ("AAVVAV") bereits erste EPs und lässt nun über Solti Music den ersten Longplayer folgen. 
"Past Perfect" pendelt zwischen melancholischem skandinavischem Pop und 80er Synthie-Pop, dessen Texte von einer männlichen Stimme eher gesprochen als gesungen, aber von weiblichem Gesang gelegentlich untermalt werden. Die Parallelen zu New Order sind nicht nur optischer Natur und sicherlich so gewollt.   

Self-described as “a collective of three daydreamers”, drawing inspirations from "old movies, visual arts, geometric shapes, late night biking trips, vintage girl groups, chamber pop and shoegaze as well as the latest indie gems”, the Helsinki / Tampere trio paints an audio canvas of lilting and wistful collage on Past Perfect.

One can imagine being a transient, strolling through a Nordic town as the withering winter surrenders to the budding spring, absorbing senses and sensations that self-constructs into affecting vignettes but oh so fleeting... Sweet without being syrupy, pleasant without being dull, Paperfangs' synth-swathed baroque pop gently soars and falls with the rhythm of life.

Most tracks on the new album sound like the general swath of contemporary dream pop, with showy electronic accents at a minimum, and a considerable emphasis on lyricism. However, the record's first single, “Bathe in Glory,” is different. It begins with crickets and then develops into a solemn, synthy, admission of personal responsibility. “It was a simple task / I thought I'd caught those eyes / it's not a tiny world / we're not three blind mice,” Jyri remarks. He continues, “they didn't build this town / they didn't write their stories / or wait a hundred years... / yet they bathe in glory.” Despite gloomy lyrics and less-than-hurried tempo, “Bathe in Glory” also features a burst of bright and stylish keyboard to even out the mood.

“All Girls Are Grey” is the second single off the record. This one is really good. It starts out simply with drum track and synth, and gradually layers on piano, uplifting dance beat, and vocalist Jyri's signature deep, impassioned musings. Like the rest of the album, the lyrics here are of the somber variety. The excerpt, “my trembling hands are trapped in clay / all fade to grey” provides an accurate characterization of song's overall tone. “All Girls Are Grey” further features a real treat, namely keyboardist Tarleena's wispy female harmonies which echo the title's familiar refrain.

“This Power” and “Avenues of Splendour” make up the LP's inevitable filler tracks. Despite such status, I still recommend a couple spins when playing Past Perfect all the way through — as they provide a smooth, seamless segue between the standouts.
(In Your Speakers)

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