Review: Papa M – “Walt’s”

Talk about a teaser!

Drag City Records today released “Walt’s,” the first song off a new LP, out Aug. 17, from David Pajo solo project Papa M. And it is a shimmering, devastating little doozy.

The song, a slow instrumental meditation for acoustic guitar (the record is billed as a collection for four acoustic guitars), harkens back to Pajo’s best work under the M moniker, most specifically the hypnotism-inducing Live From A Shark Cage. It also calls to mind his too-brief acoustic collaboration with the outfit Pullman, with a gradually unfurling measure on acoustic guitar that would have been right at home on the understated Turnstyles & Junkpiles.

2016’s Highway Songs, which brought Pajo back to us after many years of silence and a couple near-death experiences, was a hit-and-miss affair, and thrived on its awkward inconsistencies. If “Walt’s” is any indication, the new record, dubbed A Broke Moon Rises, will be a true return to wondrous form. With a cover of Arvo Part expected on the new record, Pajo’s clearly setting the bar high. – Justin Vellucci, Swordfish, May 30, 2018

About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.

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