Me Likey Me Have Fun
May 13, 2011
Paper Tiger : Me Have Fun : (Boy Girl Recordings)
Rating (Scale of 1 to 100): 81
Genre: Lounge, Trip Hop, Electronic, Singer Songwriter
You’ll Like it If: You must be ensconced in velvet whenever you play Portishead.
Defining Song: “Paper Tiger”–The track melts into a wash of strings and the sultry trappings of Kummerle’s voice. The aesthetically pleasing tune is a short lived two minutes, compelling the finger to hit repeat with obsessive recurrence.
Trip Hop is tricky. While it can seem effortless, anyone who has witnessed Massive Attack or Portishead live knows that every pore is dedicated to the music and the visual landscape. Asheville can now claim some of that seemingly facile cool thanks to local band, Paper Tiger, a duo consisting of jazz/lounge singer, Molly Kummerle and DJ/producer, Isaac Gottfried.
The two met about seven years ago through a mutual love of music and all the trappings Asheville offers for artists. When Molly wasn’t performing as her alter ego cabaret star, Ruby Slippers, and Issac wasn’t dropping beats as MINGLE, they tinkered with sounds that slowly melded into what is now Paper Tiger.
Their debut album, Me Have Fun, slowly arose from its comfy chair and entered the public arena in January, 2011. The end result is a sublime mix of sneaky keyboards, unique samples (including a baby coo) that ambush the ear, and Kummerle’s silky voice to guide us through the world of Paper Tiger.
The comparisons to the Trip Hop masters are evident, but it would be unfair to namedrop folks like Thievery and end there. Me Have Fun is an original work of art and deserves its own recognition. It’s a big world inside the album with a surprise at every turn.
“Happy Hour” starts the album with a horn revelry and a sample audience clap and ends a half hour later on “Last Call”, with Kummerle’s voice giving way to a grainy vinyl sample of a simple piano. In between lies the adventure. “Hibiscus” hits the funky stride with violin trickles and graceful keyboards thanks to guest Chuck Lichtenberger (of Stephanie’s Id). “Folded Laundry” plays up to the metaphor of complicated relationships without surrendering to maudlin, and “Hugo” sits complete with dark swagger and Beach Boys sampling.
Me Have Fun is a an album to cozy up to with bottle of wine (or absinthe for the saucier minded) or to jump start a party in need of voltage. It works either way. Kummerle and Gottfried own so many ideas on this album that it will compel the listener to have different emotions with every listen. It’s a good thing, and I hope their future output continues this myriad of escapades.
For more on Paper Tiger, go to their website
Check out this interview with Molly in the new Verve Magazine
And here’s a video of “Me Have Fun”: