LOCALS ONLY: PAPA
By Zachariah Weaver
Papa is a Little Rock and Little Not
LA-based and critically acclaimed indie band, Papa released their latest album, Tender Madness on Oct. 8, 2013 and so far, it has stirred even more hype than their double A-side 7” single “Put Me to Work/If You’re My Girl Than I’m Your Man” release did earlier this year. But don’t let my entitled description about the band’s reputation speak for the songwriting. Just take a good long listen and you’ll be able to understand all the hype for yourself.
“Young Rut,” giving off Papa’s inner Tom Petty with its classic rock, four-on-the-floor groove, is one of the catchiest songs on the entire album. It lifts the entire mood but without straying from its darker, more somber side. The whistle of the ambient guitar swells sit way back as if they’re in another room and they give the track and the album the breathing room needed all around.
For this record, the band forms its sound around what seems to be initially indie-pop, but they also circle back on each track to touch it up with pure rock anthems all throughout. All of the tunes sound like they’re playing somewhere between gritty guitar strumming and soothing synth leads, but one of the greatest aspects this album pulls out of Papa, is their ability to take a step back and give Darren Weiss’s strong melodies a chance to shine.
“I Am The Lion King,” a track Papa graced everyone with on an earlier EP “A Good Woman Is Hard to Find,” brings us back to their little hip-hoppy, indie-rock world with not just one, but three irresistible guitar riffs that actually at times sound more like some other kind of weird synths.
The beat of the tune actually automatically makes you bob your head within the first few seconds and maybe even get up and dance by yourself in your room. Later on in this mega-jam song they groove it even more by bringing in a little cow-bell action or stick-clank on the ‘and’ beats. The track is wild and perfectly in tune with its own title.
The album, out on Loma Vista records has pumped up the LA-based band these past few months as they secured a main support tour with headliners, Cold War Kids and are currently living that out. It’s obvious that these new tunes have been working in their favor and it shows on tracks like this next one, “If You’re My Girl, Then I’m Your Man.”
This song makes Papa bring out The Killers within and I have to say, it catches the listener completely off-guard. It has the emotion of a massive march with its dance drumbeat and the calming effect of a dream with its low-fi synth flying around the entire time way in the back.
Make sure to catch Papa when they’re back in this area with the Cold War Kids on November 23 in Santa Barbra at Soho and on Dec. 6 in Los Angeles at The El Rey. You really don’t want to miss seeing these songs come to life on stage.