Review Summary: The ultimate psychedelic summer trip...
As summer gently passes, Papir make sure we get to embark on at least one more major psychedelic trip before the season ends. Whether your favorite getaway includes driving around the country admiring various landscapes, going somewhere in the woods with a lake and meadow nearby, traveling to the seaside or just relaxing in your backyard/room with a bong in hand, the Danish trio have an impressive soundtrack for your holiday. This gorgeous blend of warm psychedelic jams, alongside traces of post-rock and jazz expanded over the course of 95 minutes, makes it their most powerful and delightful statement yet.
For me, V
is a compressed soundtrack of a summer day in some resort from dawn to dusk. Starting with calm grooves like you have just been awakened by them, ‘V.I’ gradually builds on carefree hooks. As it nicely unfolds, the rhythm changes into a wandering jazz-tinged jam. Just when you imagine yourself going to the beach for a swim and you see the waves crashing on the cliffs, ‘V.II’ offers simple but such effective guitar notes over a motorik beat. It leads you into a dream-like state while you enjoy the surrounding scenery. Intensifying midway, the band breaks into a hazy, riff-oriented segment, complete with a smooth solo and maintain that atmosphere for minutes on end. The windy textures of ‘V.III’, as well as its wavy structure, create a mesmerizing track that gracefully encompasses what’s this entire journey about
: leave the daily stress behind and simply unwind. Like watching the water lap against a sandy beach, that stillness is all you’re aware of with nothing else to care about. During the second half of the song, the guitars and synths just beautifully cascade over you. The post rock leanings are at their clearest here, yet the momentum ‘V.III’ creates in only 9 minutes is stunning. This is undoubtedly one of the best tracks Papir have penned so far.
After a midday retreat from the scorching sun, you take a nap to regain some energy. ‘V.IV’ & ‘V.V’ can easily play along, since they mix lush guitars and sparse arrangements to craft an enchanting atmosphere. Musically, the entire LP melds Causa Sui, Yawning Man, Electric Moon, Tycho, plus some subdued Motorpsycho and Earthless moments here and there. It’s an eclectic mix, but all these bands share that relaxed vibe when they want to. Taking cues from such great groups, combined with an astonishing chemistry between the members led to the creation of this excellent record. Moving on, ‘V.VI’ can play along your afternoon activities, hiking the hills surrounding the beach/resort, driving a ski jet on the crystal clear waters or simply strolling the sunny streets. Then, ‘V.VII’ signals the end of the day, as the sun slowly goes below the horizon, leaving a chilly breeze to take over the heat and you swim back to the shore. There’s a similar soothing feeling this tune brings to you through its tremolo-ed guitars and sparse background patterns. The sunset clouds are dazzling and you can’t wait to get a drink and look at the stars. This 25 minute epic drifts away seeming less than half of its time span. Still, it throws us a curve ball towards the end, when the bass fades in with a playful groove that keeps growing. The pounding drums amplify the coda whereas the layered guitars hover all over in the mix. This is a really nice end to such an expansive album.
Overall, Papir have outdone themselves with V
. The 3-year break from recording new material meant a lot for the creative flow and this monster album is very rewarding. Imagine the opposite of a Swans record, focusing on melody and peaceful tones, this sweeping is their latest effort. Some might consider it too long, but it has such a hypnotizing beauty, time just passes by when you listen to it without noticing. It will be very hard to surpass such a striking LP, so the band should take how much time they need to make their next move.