San Diego’s The Paragraphs have just released their debut LP, +/-, on iTunes and Bandcamp. The album was recorded at White Horse Recorders and engineered by Scarlet Symphony’s Aaron Swanton, who has previously twisted knobs for bands like Grand Ole Party.
+/- opener “Wolf” finds singer Jesse Lee Hofbauer doing his best Jim Morrison impression, but once he gets that out of his system the real fun begins. “New Twist” and “Oliver Sunshine” lend the album a jubilant ’60s atmosphere that’s grounded by the band’s rough-around-the-edges vocals and rockabilly guitars. The fuzzed out “Trash Talk” adds a scoop of grunge to the mix, while the stripped-down “Tongues” stages a revealing one-man show around Hofbauer’s mournful delivery.
But the album’s finest moment is without a doubt “There Is Nothing You Can Do,” a somber ballad that evokes The Handsome Family’s booming baritone before exploding into a sloshed minor-key hoedown.
“The song is the most honest song I have ever written,” said Hofbauer. “It put to bed my demons from my past relationship and instilled hope and respect for myself that had long since been lost. I hope you can relate to it, in your own way, and that it does the same for you as it did for me.”
To find out how you relate to the song, give it a spin using the handy-dandy link above. Once you’re done with that, you’ll probably want to buy yourself a copy of +/-. Or, if you prefer your music in a live setting, go see The Paragraphs on October 16 at House of Blues or on November 7 at the Belly Up.