Paper Beat Scissors
Shares new single, “Formas”Watch
Announces Mitad EP – April 30, 2021
Out via Forward Music Group
In September 2019, the Burnley, Lancashire-born but now Montréal-based musician, Tim Crabtree released the tender and beautifully orchestrated indie-folk album, Parallel Line under his Paper Beat Scissors moniker which has found acclaim previously from the likes of NPR, Rolling Stone, PopMatters and BBC Radio. Parallel Line explored the fragility, complexity, and fundamental importance of human connection, a theme that has obviously taken on more and more resonance in the past year as we all grapple with our unexpected isolation. Now he’s announcing the Spanish reworking of a selection of those songs, titled La Mitad which is set for release on April 30, 2021, via beloved Halifax, NS-based label, Forward Music Group.
Paper Beat Scissors offers this enchanting and stunning ensemble, reflecting in the equally tranquillising film to accompany the release. This intimate creation shares this emotional pull at the core of the release. The emotion emits from the delicate vocal harmonies that start soft and fragile before reaching to intense heights as the ensemble heads towards a captivating and crushing crescendo. This meaningful melody carries the intricate layers of instrumentation that build the bed of complex textures that cushion those elongated vocal notes and critical lyrics.
Paper Beat Scissors creates beautiful orchestrations that hook the audience and solidify this artist as essential.
The seed for the La Mitad project was planted in slightly surreal circumstances during a summer trip to Nova Scotia where Crabtree had been flown in to cameo as Freddie Mercury during Halifax’s annual Pride concert. Killing time before the show, he’d had the urge to listen to a song he’d adored in his youth: “Just Another Day”, an over-anguished power ballad by Gloria Estefan’s back-up singer, Jon Secada. After the song finished, the streaming service autoplay cued up a Spanish version of the song that Crabtree hadn’t realised existed. Hearing such a familiar song in a different form set something off in Crabtree’s mind, and when he returned from the trip, he set about translating the songs from Parallel Line that he felt would carry best in Spanish.
This new single and EP opener, “Formas”, is about “the knots we tie ourselves in, the messes we get ourselves in, but lay at another’s door, particularly in the realm of relationships” says Crabtree. Musically the song holds a hypnotic tension created through the ever-repeating electric guitar riff and Crabtree’s floating falsetto. Washes of pedal steel (Mike Feuerstack – Bell Orchestre) and French horn (Pietro Amato – Patrick Watson, Land of Talk) flit in and out before the steam builds through dislocating counter-rhythms on the piano and a crescendo of drums pushes the song to overflow. “Yo quiero todo, no quiero nada” (I want it all. I want none) comes the mantra. But when the cacophony subsides there’s no resolution, no catharsis, the character is stuck where he started. The single is paired with a visually stunning video centred around a concept worked up by director Derek Branscombe over many months. “I think Derek reflects the spirit of the song really wonderfully on the visual level – all this beauty and tension, all these situations on the verge of collapse, but when the dislocation comes it’s in unexpected ways”.
Crabtree learned and fell in love with Spanish whilst conducting field research in Argentina for his master’s degree. There’s a certain poetry to the decision to translate tracks from Parallel Line: what better source material than an album about communication and connection? In the act of translation, he’s attempting to remove a barrier to connection. Crabtree also hopes that the project can serve to remove barriers and connect him differently, and perhaps more deeply, with his native English-speaking audience. “The “sense” of the lyrics is only one part of the communication that takes place in a song”, he says, “I have no idea what some of my favourite artists, the likes of Sigur Rós or Ichiko Aoba are singing about, but in some ways, not getting distracted by what I’m TOLD the song is about allows a more fundamental connection”.
You can pre-order La Mitad, out April 30, via this link
Paper Beat Scissors
April 30, 2021
via Forward Music Group
3. La Mitad
5. El Veneno Viejo
6. La Única
8. Todo Sabemos