Full disclosure: I’m traditionally a big fan of formulaic, bubble-gum music of any genre and my preferences have admittedly always reflected that. But as of late I have been gaining a more personal appreciation for music that prioritizes raw feeling and emotion over structure and melody. And for me there is no local group that embodies the former more than Paper Hats, a two-piece supergroup of sorts formed by the drummer from Toronto band Your Grandad and the guitarist/backing vocalist from local band Karloff.

Their frenetic drumming is matched only by equally intricate guitar work and increasingly anxious vocals. The combination of all three elicits strong emotional response above all else. All at once the duo creates feelings of creeping dread mixed with explosive energy, resulting in an experience that is on one hand jarring and distant and on the other intimate and elegant.

For your reference their 2019 EP Tearing is available on streaming platforms and Bandcamp.

Most recently they released a single “Might” on the Splendid Industries compilation Peanut Gallery vol. 1, which is available on Bandcamp.com.

– Kurtis Rideout, local musician, producer and ad manager for WLUSP