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Paperplain - Entering Pale Town

  by Lisa Torem

published: 27 / 1 / 2010

Paperplain - Entering Pale Town
Label: Destructible Records
Format: CD


Excellent lo-fi bedroom pop on debut mini-album from Paperplain, the project of nineteen year old British-based singer-songwriter, Helen Page

Helen Page is quite simply nineteen. Some sage once said that “youth is wasted on the young.” But, ‘Paperplain’s’ (AKA Page)second release ‘Entering Paletown’ belies that paradox. Her debut was the limited 7" of ’11:30 b/w ‘Spin Wheel.’ The seven cuts of this “mini-album” were recorded on a basic eight-track recorder and then multi-tracked. It was recorded entirely in her college bedroom. No lack of efficiency there, eh? From the moment one examines the grainy-looking CD cover which has cartoonish illustrations of animated birdhouses on stilts stuck in a mud puddle and backed by sketches of undulating hills, a fantasy world embroils. ‘Paperplain’ uses a “less is more” approach to her creation and there are some universal feelings examined here that remind me of UK band Noah and the Whale. Page has a whisper of a voice – not a voice that can belt or tremolo – but is perfectly suited for the moods that swing this album’s door wide open. Don’t expect the vocals to rival decibel levels of the local garage band as it won’t. Do expect the mood to sway, lighten and drift. Droning guitar bits quicken, bobs of heart-felt epiphanies wane, whilst Page carries on sincerely and memorably. The title song ‘Paletown’ contains the gem "you were talking faster than the ripping of the plaster." It begins with a ringing phone and a delicately moving piano line which shadows the vocals. The innocent thrush of a tambourine completes the pastiche. The 'liet motit' of ’11:30’ is a reference to a "tummy ache." Page has an absurdist edge on occasion. It’s this kind of approach that pulls you in. ‘Spin Wheel’ runs slowly in meter like a carelessly, turned-off, antiquated faucet. That slow-moving characteristic is intoxicating. ‘Rescue Boat’ is a story-song in which a ship sinks, but at the outcome the sun is seen overhead. It features some scrumptious harmonies. I hardly think Paperplain’s youth is wasted at all. In fact, it’s actually quite an extravagant undertaking.

Track Listing:-
1 Pale Town
2 The Trip
3 Foreign Fingers
4 Go Go NY
5 11:30
6 Rescue Boat
7 Spin Wheel

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Interview (2010)
Paperplain - Interview
Lisa Torem talks to electronic bedroom artist Helen Page, who records music under the moniker of Paperplain, about her debut mini-album, 'Entering Pale Town'

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