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Papernut Cambridge

There's No Underground

Gare du Nord Records

Released: 13th October 2014 | 12 track indie rock album

Papernut Cambridge return with their second album There's No Underground - the follow up to last year's Cambridge Nutflake album, which gained encouraging reviews and mentions from Q, Mojo, Rough Trade, Shindig etc.

Papernut leader Ian Button completed the album in Spring 2014 in between production jobs for Darren Hayman and Go Kart Mozart, drumming for Wreckless Eric etc, and has again put together a vibrant and varied bunch of collaborators and friends for these new recordings: the band lineup this time includes Papernut regulars Darren Hayman, Robert Rotifer, Robert Halcrow (from Picturebox) and Ralegh Long, as well as ex-Hefner pedal steel guru Jack Hayter, Button's former Death In Vegas bandmate Mat Flint, three quarters of the Mary Epworth band and Ruari Meehan (son of producer and Shadows drummer Tony, and formerly of Belakiss).

The digital release comes in a standard edition with the 12 main tracks, and a deluxe version that includes extra extended/alternate mixes and versions.

While Cambridge Nutflake was an album set in hazy cosmic dreamland, There's No Underground is located in Ian Button's actual and spiritual home at the South Eastern edges of London town, where postcodes turn Kentish and the M25 lurks behind the next row of hills, almost within earshot.

The album's title, you see, is not really a statement on the complete commodification of pop culture (though it could well be that too), but rather a neat definition of those very ends of the Metropolis that lie even beyond the outer reaches of Metroland. There really is no underground. And it's not really rock 'n' roll. Neither is this album which sounds nothing like Ian's earliest bands and not even that much like the previous Papernut release. Influences have been noted by the artist as Bolan, The Byrds, Motown, Mr Bloe, Jaques Dutronc, Scott Walker, Arnold Corns Bowie, Tony Orlando & Dawn, 10CC, The Beach Boys, The Flaming Lips, Edison Lighthouse and Van Der Graaf Generator - the last track name checks them as Ian listened to Pawn Hearts incessantly as a kid. Yet There's No Underground, if not referencing London per se, does contain something of the estuary angst heard in Ray Davies, Damon Albarn and Pete Doherty and a degree of that slurred cocky glam-rock that Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel did so well. That's not to say the music really sounds like any of that at all though, it's a bubbling stewpot from everything that has inspired a man of a certain age no longer embarrassed by those prog records punk eradicated, the glitzy bubblegum rock of prime time Top Of The Pops (when Mott were the dudes and Rod was still cool), a nod towards the psychedelic music of his childhood and everything that has happened since. 'Umbrella Man' could only be described as Alex Chilton on more downers than he swallowed whilst recording Third attempting to play a bubblegum-psych soul disc by The Rotary Connection and 'The Long Shadows Of Lee' sounds like The Beachwood Sparks in Cosmic Dartford mode!

".....if you like Hitchcock, The Soft Boys, early Pink Floyd, channelling the Jam, or the mod-pop band of your choice- you will thoroughly enjoy the Swaps EP"
Louder Than War, EP Track Review 2014
"..takes its inspiration from a similar musical sea as the Britpop lot – The Small Faces, Syd Barrett, Nick Drake–yet scraping away the ’90s muck, like a sharp paring knife cleaning the gunk from a fresh mussel to reveal the briny goodness within."
The Bomber Jacket, EP Track Review 2014
"...a timeless amalgam of pop history which sounds both deeply reverent, and consistently fresh at the same time......A fabulous contemporary pop album that follows in a grand English tradition. Marvelous."
The Active Listener, Album Review
"A genuine oddity......thrilling and original..........a rich, evocative work that sounds lysergically English in the best possible way."
Rough Trade, Track Of The Week 2013
"...perfectly encapsulated power-pop odds on garage-rocking Stiff Records power pill popping triumph"
Monolith Cocktail, Album Preview
"A brilliant new record"
Gideon Coe, BBC 6Music
"Very neat indie, 70's style...gentle 70's glitter, dreamy prog-psych and shameless retro-pop"
The Strange Brew, Album Review
"…..Fresh, gorgeous and flooded with vital enthusiasm….. a strange and ambitious mix of beguiling dream-pop, psych, shoe-gaze and brit pop (the kind that doesn’t make my stomach turn) full of wit, charm and sonic mastery."
Gold Flake Paint
"In the spirit of Ziggy Stardust....tales of rural isolation, fickle politicians and rock n roll nostalgia...not your usual retro-psych fare."
Shindig, Album Review
"Appealingly weird but poppy British psych....."
Alexis Petridis, The Guardian