Parallel Line by Paper Beat ScissorsRelease date: September 13, 2019
Label: Forward Music Group
Tim Crabtree is an ex-pat Brit now located in Montreal and has been operating as Paper Beat Scissors for a decade now. Not that he has exactly made a name for himself, but has obviously impressed the likes of Mark Kozelek and My Brightest Diamond to make live appearances alongside them, as well as to be covered by the likes of BBC and The Rolling Stone.
On the evidence of his latest release, Parallel Line, things will probably not change as far as the critical acclaim is concerned. Whether it will have an indent on a more general listening public is yet to be seen, or should I say, heard, but personally, it certainly should!
If you would expect some sort of a singer/songwriter fare from Crabtree and Parallel Line, you would be on a right track, but instead of just fiddling with his acoustic guitar and adding an occasional piano and/or backing vocals, Crabtree here goes for a big, lush, orchestral sound – something you would expect from somebody who has obviously been inspired by somebody great, as Nick Drake was, chamber folk/pop if you want to pigeon hole it into a certain category.
And while Crabtree’s vocals are in a completely different range than Drake’s, they are equally impressive, and the range of instrumentation and an excellent arranger’s touch do merit the comparisons to one of singer/songwriter legends. Oh, and Crabtree also has that melodic touch that prevents him from landing into repetitiveness, a trap so many singer/songwriters are unable to escape.
The melodic intricacy and imagination Crabtree shows on Parallel Line should put the album and his Paper Beat Scissors moniker into a more prominent light.