Sunday, February 23, 2014
The setting at Mojos was warm and intimate for the Perth leg of Papa Vs Pretty’s album launch tour. Their new release, White Deer Park, was the product of some intensive song writing, totalling around 80 tracks, which were painstakingly culled for the final release. The end result, completed with assistance from LA producer Dave Trumfio, was a beautifully polished yet deeply touching LP which the Mojos crowd were treated to in its entirety.
Tired Lion were the chosen support act for the night and it was obvious that they’ve been hard at work honing their craft. There is honestly nothing like this band in Perth at the moment and not a single beat was missed. Infallible musicianship was on display despite a last minute replacement drummer, recruited temporarily from 44th Sunset, who appeared to have learnt their entire set to perfection in a single afternoon.
Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Sophie Hopes belted out her vocal lines with greater precision than ever before and even her between-track banter saw some vague improvement. Sophie’s crystalline voice paired with some gritty vocal harmonies by bassist Nick Vasey, particularly on their final track, tentatively titled Don’t Think You Like Me, adding a seriously entertaining dynamic which we can hope to see more of in the future.
Following a brief interlude, Papa Vs Pretty sauntered up to the plate for a full length performance of their stunning album. Now damn, that’s some delicious song writing. Lead singer Tom Rawle was not only infinitely charming but projected his soaring and glorious voice into the space with confidence and clarity. The pace moved from considerably heavy uprock vibes to smooth and sweet without a moment’s pause. One particular track, My Life Is Yours, was almost tear jerking in its emotional content and the interplay between guitar and piano was masterful.
Their music is heartfelt from the start to end and came without a trace of bloated insincerity or ingenuousness. The combination of thoughtful lyrics, evolving instrumentation and varied pace was at times reminiscent of a lush Radiohead release and the house remained packed and responsive throughout the set. Papa Vs Pretty are certainly destined for ever greater success as they clearly are not afraid of breaking away from the pack of overly twee and insubstantial releases that seem to be currently flooding the Australian airwaves. Providing something that your mind and heart can truly connect with is no mean feat, and White Deer Park gives exactly that. Whenever it is that these lads may grace our isolated city again, put the date aside and give yourself over to the experience.