The press blurb that accompanies Texas-based indie folk duo Papermoons' sophomore album No Love claims that "the idea that you can say a whole lot more without screaming or shouting" is solidified in this LP. No Love is 10 tracks of smouldering, cleverly composed melodies with occasional gushes of shimmering electric guitars.
Written during the five years after Papermoons' debut album New Tales was released, No Love is a more confident offering that bristles with strong percussion and more varied instruments coming into the fray. Despite the definite sounding title of the album it's not all sad love songs, No Love is mostly sweet indie folk melodies imbued with a sense of curiousity.
"Arms Length" creates a detachment from emotion by trying to look at things literally, as Matt Clark muses "My lungs they breathe/And my heart it beats/Blood into my arms/Just enough to leach". The vocals simmer over a backdrop of acoustic guitars that eventually merge with all-consuming percussion. The vocals on "Heart/Brain" are so soft that they nearly disappear beneath the music, flanked by circling guitar chords. "Lungs" closes the album with sparse acoustic guitars and vocals that go together as well as heartbreak does with songwriting. The thrill of the electric guitars that eventually bubble over ends the album with the sound of a new awakening.
No Love is loaded with songs that quietly but confidently draw the listener in. The songs tend to begin with demure acoustic melodies that burst into fitful percussion and electric guitars. No Love is emotion-heavy without weariness, and is attuned to to both the upsides and downsides of life. The acoustic guitars that dominated Papermoons' debut album aren't as prevalent on No Love, instead flourishes of electric guitars shock the songs back into life and compound the folk sensibilities on this album with a twist.
7.8 / 10
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