“Do You Really Wanna Know” – Papercuts
I have recently discovered that not everyone here realizes that the three songs selected each week are not merely handpicked for inclusion but also packaged together in a particular order, intended ideally to be listened to in little sets of three. Well it’s true. And if you don’t have time for that this week, at the very least check out the segue between They Might Be Giants and Papercuts this time around. Is that pretty cool or what?
For all its diaphanous reverb and sweet nostalgia, “Do You Really Wanna Know” has a tough little core that pushes the song, for me, past some of my built-in “twee” alarms. Some of the latent toughness I attribute to its assertive beat, some to the emphatic double-time bass at the bottom of the mix. But in the end it’s probably Papercuts front man/master mind Jason Robert Quever himself who unexpectedly sells the song’s clout. For all of his whispery tenor-ness, Quever finds an extra edge in the chorus; that’s where I really bought in to what’s going on here. The melody gets all girl-group-y while his voice loses the whisper (sort of) and gains traction. The quivery guitar-solo thing he then does before the next verse is actually odder than it sounds if you’re not paying attention.
Papercuts is a band with just one permanent member—the San Francisco-based Quever—and four albums now under their/his belt. “Do You Really Wanna Know”—no question mark—is from Fading Parade, which was released last month, on Sub Pop Records. MP3 via Sub Pop.