Paper Jackets emerges from the LA indie pop scene inhabited by producer Ethan Kaufmann — a driving influence of the band’s electrifying, synth-pop sound.
The line-up consists of lead vocalist James Mason with Emily Dickinson on keyboard, Jonny Vesely on guitar, Miles Franco on bass and Michael Diguglielmo on drums. The five teamed up in Silver Lake, CA to record the band’s first full length record, Electric Youth, a forty minute set of songs that weaves the singer’s natural emotive voice into Kaufmann’s slick production in his East Hollywood studio dubbed “The Elephant in the Room.” Affected by artists such as Sky Ferreira, BØRNS, Misterwives, and Walk the Moon, Paper Jackets offers today’s pop listener a fist full of glitter amid the layers of their pop inspired sound, memorable hooks and catchy phrases from start to finish.
Stacked high with experimental indie rock and synth-pop gleam, the twelve tracks off their debut LP are all buoyed by keen lyricism.
Thematically, the songs conform around the anxiety and tension that nearly every 20-something has grappled with: transitioning from a more careless existence to fitting in with the bewildering idea of what it means to be an “adult.” The LP also calls to attention the damage done to personal relationships caught in the corners of addiction and depression, although sonically it is a four on the floor party affair.
Celebratory singles “Full Throttle” and “California State” explode with incendiary choruses and fetching verses. Carefully placed percussion layers and synth progressions provide the base for Mason’s musings. “Three for the Show” preaches to everyone who has cracked or lost their iPhone during a night of heavy boozing: Sometimes it’s just easier to find delight in the screw-up and accept it as a souvenir of an awesome night of revelry. “Mary Louise” finds Mason nostalgic for his days living in LA in the mid-2000’s, reminiscing on past friends and debaucherous times. The album closes with a rendition of “Stand Back”, a refreshing take on the 80’s hit single by Stevie Nicks.