Paperfangs - AAVVAV [EP]
One websites states “Paperfangs is a collective of three daydreamers scattered across Finland,” so from this description you kind of have a feeling about what you're about to hear from this tight knitted threesome. Paperfangs are signed to Soliti and they do dream- pop, Scandanavian dream-pop to be precise. A part of the world which is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes; snowy mountains, green forests, crystal clear rivers. It's like a day dreamers paradise and you can occasionally feel those things in Paperfangs AAVVAV EP.
It's like the trio want to create an audio visual experience for the listener with AAVVAV (the letters in the title stand for “audio” and “visual”). Film samples are all over each song on the EP, as the group have admitted their love for old cinema. A great example of this is in track 'Lifelong' where the sample of “He has beautiful hair, he has beautiful eyes” opens the track and plays as a chorus for the song. 'Lifelong' is like a lot of the other songs on AAVVAV where Paperfangs have decided to use reverb to its maximum potential, nearly every track is drowned in it. Sometimes is not as noticeable, but in 'Lifelong' you know that pretty much every instrument is smothered in it. It adds to Paperfangs dreamy approach to making music, but the thing is, not everyone in my dreams has a heavily reverbed voice.
'Oh I Wandered' is the kind of track where Paperfangs really prove their worth. They seem to excell at making uptempo dream-pop but then falter when approaching the slower kind ('Valleys and Peaks'), as this becomes quite dull and uninspiring. It's the bursts of synth sounds in 'Oh I Wandered' which ring through the track like an alarm that keep this song upbeat and alive. The chopped up samples through the chorus are a neat touch and the lack of reverb on it make 'Oh I Wandered' a great alternative pop song.
However going back to them picturesque scenes you think of when listening through AAVVAV, eventually you'll get a bit bored and when that boredom hits, it stays. Just like any beautiful sunset, you can only watch it for so long until you think, I'm tired of this now, lets move on. You get the same effect when going through this EP, you can only be so impressed with Paperfangs twinkling dream-pop until it gets to the point where the twinkle disappears. If you listen through the EP, you'll realise it all sounds too similar. You know when a sample is going to pop up, you know how the synth will play out and you know the vocals will continue in that delayed, dreary tone.
For all the day dreaming Paperfangs do in their spare time, it seems the trio don't fully embrace it when it comes to the creation of their music. With AAVVAV, Paperfangs wanted to create a dream-pop EP that takes your audio and visual senses in a direction they haven't gone before. Instead you get a standard shoe-gaze EP from a Finnish band who don't have quite the imagination they thought they did.