Thursday, 2 October 2014

New music: 'There's No Underground' by Papernut Cambridge

"Don't draw the curtains shut, or make the dark too bright,
You can just put on a record so your head's alright"

The second album from Ian Button's Papernut Cambridge, and it's a slightly shambolic and ramshackle ride through the south-east London of today and yesteryear. The title, you see, work on two levels  as well as there being no underground movement to speak of in popular music today, there's also (literally) no Underground and the train services come to a halt where the postcodes change from London to Kent.

Joined by luminaries and peers such as Darren Hayman, Robert Rotifer, Jack Hayter and more, Button has created a record that's shot through with classic iinfluences from the Small Faces and the Kinks to The Auteurs and Blur. Here you'll find undeniably English melodies with a 21st century edge.

One of my favourites on the record is 'The Day The Government Went On Strike', a (cautionary?) tale about our leaders putting down their pens, walking out into the sunshine and saying "You run the country yourselves and see how you like it". It's two minutes of eccentric whimsy that you'd like to think could maybe someday happen, if only for for a day. 'Nutflake Social', on the other hand, seems to be some sort of reinvented 'Timewarp' for the Papernut alternative universe.

'Rock'n'Roll Sunday Afternoon City Lights' sums up the whole feel of the album to me, it's a bit if s throwback to those rainy afternoons when you were a kid and you'd rifle through your parents' record collection trying to find something that excited you.

At 30 minutes long it's a concise journey through the Papernut psyche. Like a surprisingly quick train ride to another land, let it transport you to a better place, a place that looks to the future but is acutely aware of where it's come from.

The album's out on 13th October on Gare du Nord records, where you'll be able to pick up both a standard version or a deluxe set with extra extended and alternate tracks.

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