Artist: The Paperboys
Album: At Peace With One’s Ghosts
Label: Self Released
Release Date: 12/08/2015
The Paperboys intricately blend Latin Folk and Celtic sounds with the band’s definitively Americana pull. Foremost in latest 11-track disc, At Peace With One’s Ghosts, is a mariachi flare, which is incorporated in not just flamenco beats, flamboyant horns and classical guitar, but also the lyrics, such as the entirely Spanish “Nunca James.” Irish flutes and whistles are added to create an unusual, but successful, mix.
These influences are not new to the group, but come out more defiantly in the most recent compilation. This is in part due to over a dozen instrumental guests who appeared in-studio and sported a wide variety of instruments, including trombone, wurlitzer and accordion. It is also in part due to producer Bill Buckingham, who helps make the project seem effortless, while expertly blending so many inspirations.
“Back to You” begins with some classic Americana pop-rock—tambourine beats and vocal harmonies in cue. The love song fits distinctly in its genre, whereas following track, “City of Chains,” includes several horns and a flamenco beat, before ascending into an Irish flute solo.
Later track “Fake It” sports a slow, sexy pace, and both the music and lyrics thrive on passion. “I don’t care if it pays. It’s got to be real. It’s got to make you feel… If my whole heart don’t beat for this, then I don’t want it,” sing husband and wife vocalists, Tom and Kalissa Landa. “Rest of my Days” and “Don’t Want to Know” mellow things down a bit, but the disc ends on a lively note with fiddle-heavy “The Pugilist.”
Authenticity is a prominent theme, and frontman Tom Landa is true to his Mexican roots and early Celtic influences, though the Canadian production adds a decidedly pop-rock feel on top.
– Kalyn Oyer