The Paperclips | Please Tell Your Loved Ones… (s/r)

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Here, the length of a syllable is just as important as a guitar riff; time is irrelevant, meant to be bent to your will.

Let’s face it: People like that with which they are familiar. Maybe that’s why twenty-somethings playing roots music is so appealing. Could be that, or it could be the fact that said twenty-somethings are talented as all hell. Either way, one of those reasons should convince you to give this EP—and its full-length predecessor, The Story—a listen.
The Paperclips are a Kansas City-based trio whose richness of sound and story belies their sparse years. Lyrically, these are songs of hard times, hard-scrabbled spirituality and even harder-edged truths. Here, the length of a syllable is just as important as a guitar riff; time is irrelevant, kids, meant to be bent to your will. Singer/songwriter Jacobi Briscoe has not only an incredibly rich and fluid voice but some of the most mad guitar skills this side of the west. Be it riffs or wails or pedal steel, the guy’s got an impressive delivery.
With a band this sparse, each member has to be at the top of his game, and they are. Jason Richards (bass, backing vocals) and Chris Evans (drums, percussion) are each solid players, their contributions palpable. Still, it’s Briscoe’s voice that leads this trio, and that ultimately elevates the songs well beyond the sum of their parts.
The highlight here has to be “Please Tell…” which finds Briscoe and Richards delivering incredible a cappella harmonies. The sparse “Sing Me to Death” gives way to the blistering “Something of Your Own,” yet another vocal highlight in both the front and backing variety. The slow ’n’ bluesy “Trouble” takes us home, the sound of Briscoe’s wail still in our ears as we reach for “repeat.” A- | Laura Hamlett
RIYL: Led Zeppelin, The White Stripes, The Cold War Kids
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