Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Morning Coffee:: Paper Beat Scissors

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It seems no matter how often we preach to the masses, people still forget that Halifax is more than Celtic folk and slacker rock. Sure, both styles are well accounted for here in the city, but a blossoming, adventurous folk scene is just one of the many other communities strengthening its hold on the area (not to mention the punk, roots and hip-hop acts making waves).

What really grabs me about the songwriter scene is that every act is drawing from different sounds and influences. Of course there are tons of classic voices and coffee shop troubadours, but there are some talents (like Dan Ledwell) you can't ignore and artists that are pushing the boundaries of the timeless genre (like the haunting folk of Ghost Bees or the orchestral elegance of Fall Horsie).

Somewhere tucked in the middle of all that is Paper Beat Scissors. Driven by the bedroom compositions and voice of Tim Crabtree, PBS a rotating collective of guest musicians that creates a beautiful blend of acoustics, electronics and countless other instruments. The structure of his four song EP is heavily influenced by melancholic, acoustic work and as a result is instantly accessible, but the songs are spiked with beautiful strings (Flicker), harmonies, horns and interesting electronic flourishes (the stellar Be Patient).

When I first started listening, I couldn't find much information on the band but it made perfect sense that Tim has been working with Ryan Veltmeyer (of I See Rowboats - RIP), because the builds, transitions and layers really remind me of the powerful performances ISR was delivering before they called it quits. I know Flicker is a slight four song, home recorded debut but Paper Beat Scissors hit a home run. Intimate at just the right moments, but bold enough to run across larger soundscapes, these are the types of songs that become lodged in your brain. The emotions they present are honest and I only see Tim and his rotating cast of supporting players getting better and more popular.

For any of you looking to buy the EP, contact Tim directly - paperbeatscissors AT gmail DOTCOM - and he can help you get a handmade hard copy ($7) or an electronic download ($3).

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Posted at 7:21 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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