Timeless folk-pop

At a time when lots of “independent” bands are going mainstream, and “alternative” music often marches in lemming-like lockstep, it’s nice to come across a truly idiosyncratic band like Papercuts that isn’t just trying to sound like the hipster-pleasing flavor of the month.

Papercuts consists mostly of San Francisco musician Jason Quever, who excels at lush songcraft that calls to mind Simon & Garfunkel–style folk crossed with the swelling, multi-textured rock orchestralism of the Smashing Pumpkins. (Quever’s voice, in fact, is Billy Corgan–esque.)

Quever’s 2004 debut was glowingly reviewed, particularly in the U.K., and now he’s generating plenty of heat Stateside: His new CD, Can’t Go Back, is on indie icon Devendra Banhart’s Gnomonsong label, and he’s touring with critical darlings Grizzly Bear.

But we don’t care that the cool kids approve of him. We just like that he writes timeless folk-pop songs that sound fresh, not self-consciously retro.

“>HEAR sample Papercuts tracks as free streaming audio on MySpace

“>BUY Can’t Go Back

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Timeless folk-pop