Five Albums You Should Be Listening to Right Now: The Paperhead

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In the past few weeks, we’ve been taking a look at the CMJ Music Marathon, the nation’s second-largest indie music festival. Little-known acts like The Arcade Fire, The Killers, and Mumford & Sons have emerged from the festival way, way bigger than when they arrived. We asked some of this year’s most promising, face-meltingly good CMJ artists to share what they’re listening to right now and what we should be too. This week we’re looking at psych pop revivalists The Paperhead.


If a contemporary batch of nostalgia is your jam, you’ve found the right band. Borrowing from the pastoral folk and kaleidoscope tinge of the ’60s, The Paperhead take Nashville psych pop to an earnest, head-bopping level. A band of childhood friends, The Paperhead’s latest LP Africa Avenue takes it name from the street the group hung out on in their formative years. Their special blend of cosmic country evokes the best of Syd Barrett, The Pretty Things, and early The Who — but trust us, the tunes are fresher than mere throwbacks.

 The Paperhead Picks:

Cate le Bon, Mug Museum
Some of the best new music around. Really catchy, and her voice reminds us of the girl from Slapp Happy. We just saw her play guitar for White Fence, and her harmonies were great.

Listen to: “Duke”


Mike Nesmith, Magnetic South
We like this more than any Monkees album. Great pedal steel on every song, by the guy who played on “Sweetheart of the Rodeo.”

Listen to: “Mama Nantucket”


Slapp Happy, Acnalbasac Noom
Warm and comforting female vocals backed by Faust in their prime.

Listen to: “Charlie n Charlie”


Sparks, Halfnelson
None of us have gotten too into Todd Rundgren, but his production on Sparks’ debut album is amazing. Lots of strange instruments and studio trickery. It’s an explosive record.

Listen to: “Fletcher Honorama”


Euphoria, A Gift From Euphoria
This is a lost gem of a record. Half recorded in Nashville, which makes us like it even more.

Listen to: “Did You Get the Letter?”

Take a listen to The Paperhead’s latest, “Africa:”