PAPA

"Everyone becomes sea urchins and rats at night," says PAPA's Darren Weiss, laughing slyly. "It's the nature of being young."

Like with an inside joke you know, you smirk along, succumbing to a moment of reverie. The suggestion of crawling so close to the dirt floods in bastard memories. And so, when the versatile drummer, singer and principle songwriter next puts his band's musical efforts in simple terms such as, setting out to make "American soul music with a punk-rock mentality" on its forthcoming EP, A Good Woman is Hard to Find, you nod along, like, yeah that sounds about right.

There's a poetic purity that runs through the songs, suggesting devious truths and well told lies, rolling along with a natural swagger that thoughtlessly evokes hard-hitting shakes and slow-swinging shimmies. Weiss' earnest vibrato often takes on a Springsteen-like growl in its best moments, crooning reminiscences on "I Am The Lion King," "I got to make a you a woman. You got to make me a man." In each song's groove there's a dangerous sexiness to PAPA-the furious grip of the dance floor, the cold pavement outside, and the way you kiss when you're not sure you'll ever see the person again or whether you'd even want to.

A Good Woman is Hard to Find is an album as ripe for romance as it is partying. It has moments of aggression and simple bliss, with a classic sense of harmony, melody and style. It's a modern, rough-and-tumble take on classic soul, without a doubt. With the help of Weiss' musical partner, friend-since-childhood, bassist Danny Presant, the tracks gain a hip-hop sensibility that separates PAPA from simple revivalists and instead into timeless territory. It's an exacting and revelatory ode to what's wrong with modern romance but what won't stop one from giving it another go. Meanwhile, the cover art shows a waifish, made-up girl, smoking a cigarette, smiling with a come-hither wink that suggests a good time but history argues otherwise. Here we go again. It's an instant testament to our hero's exhausting trials in love and those superficial layers that brutally slice through once promising, meaningful connections.

Weiss and Presant grew up in Los Angeles and have always had a home in California. Weiss is also a passionate painter and writer of prose.

PAPA's A Good Woman is Hard to Find will be released October 4th on Hit City U.S.A. and Psychedelic Judaism.

Alex Casnoff was the keyboard player for some serious LA bands, Dawes and PAPA, but he was really a songwriter. Casnoff needed to do his own thing so he introduced the world to Harriet in the fall of 2011. The band's debut EP, Tell The Right Story, is filled with murder ballads, dreams and memories about messed up people pushing forward no matter what. There is an anxious optimism and a deep dark sense of humor that bleeds through each of the five songs. There is no way out. You will never get there. But there is no excuse for giving up. A fate, accepted and then ignored.

The EP straddles the line between classic American songs and the sonic experimentation of electronic music. The band continues to delve deeper into this contrast, and that's what's most exciting about Harriet. At every show, and with every new song, they get closer to codifying the Electronic-American sound.

Harriet's music is evolving into something familiar, filtered through a dream. Songs that strive to live comfortably within the distorted memory, and take no stock in chasing the past. The anti-nostalgia. The music's repetition, groove, and build come from minimalism and dance music, and that mixed with their slightly crooked American rock songs and alluring hooks, equals something that is both emotionally and physically satisfying. Harriet is a band that starts with a good song, but makes fucking it up a priority.

Go see them live. They take chances, precisely altering any and every song completely, making their experience as fresh as ours. Expect the unexpected. Hear the unheard. See the unseen, and be the unbean...

Alex Casnoff, sings and plays Guitar and Keyboards. Aaron Folb plays electric and synth bass. Henry Kwapis plays drums, percussion and SPD. Adam Gunther plays Guitar.

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PAPA with Harriet

Thursday, May 16 · 8:00 PM at Troubadour

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