Chicago’s PAPER MICE returns with their third full-length, and second for ThreeOneG Records, 1-800-MONDAYS. Still centered on their dense-but-slamming post-punk trio compositions, the arrangements broaden in scope, adding orchestral instruments and Beach Boys-inspired vocal harmonies, while the band incorporates new stylistic elements with occasional Metal riffs and twisted Latin-tinged melodies. To celebrate the upcming release, we are bringing you some more details about their wicked craft, along with their new music video premiere and the band’s special list of 10 youtube videos that got them through a year in quarantine!
“Twitchy, snaking, and wonderfully jagged” — Chicago Reader
“The precision of these songs rests in the players’ ability, two of them being music teachers. It’s a level of skill brought into what are basically sharp punk rock songs that has won over countless crowds over the years.” — Impose Magazine
Paper Mice is a three-piece whirligig from Chicago that blends a freakish range of influences into miniature, prog-punk puzzles. Started in 2008 by Dave Reminick, Adam McCormack, and John Carroll, Taylor Hales took over for Adam on bass duties in 2013, and the band has been writing and performing together since that time. The band is a fixture in Chicago’s tight-knit DIY community, performing their high-wire “stop-start mess of rhythmic tics and awkward face plants” for dance-soaked warehouse hounds throughout the Midwest and East Coast. Over the years, they’ve toured and/or performed with musical peers Pinback, NNAMDI, Meat Wave, Melkbelly, Oozing Wound, and The Spektral Quartet, amongst others. Influences include The Beach Boys, The Residents, Abba, The Talking Heads, Nomeansno, This Heat, and Susana Baca.
This single is off of Paper Mice’s upcoming LP, 1-800-Mondays, which will be released digitally as well as on vinyl through Three One G Records on May 7th, 2021. PRE-ORDER HERE. Nnamdi’s concept for “The Cynic Route” is an interpretation of the story behind the lyrics of the song, which is about a group of Russian men who decided to illegally cross over a bridge disguised as a yellow school bus (for reference).
The video features John as the disgruntled employee whose day keeps getting worse, and Taylor as the guard at the bridge who won’t let any pedestrians cross the bridge… unless, of course, they somehow magically turn into a yellow taco bus, which is totally acceptable. “Pump the brakes, don’t make a fuss. Think how I feel, walk a mile in my bus!”
Paper Mice’s first album, Paint it Pink, featured sixteen short, spastic songs about bizarre news stories, botched surgeries, and hirsute politicians. The follow-up, The Funny Papers (also on Three One G Records), continued the band’s jagged jaunt through the world of current events with eleven tracks about canine heroes, fast-food, financial meltdowns, and Dolly Parton. 1-800-Mondays follows in this quirky tradition, with every song being about weird and ridiculous true stories from the news– in particular, this album often focuses on fire (mainly, people setting things on fire accidentally/on purpose). Channeling The Residents’ strange conceptual brilliance, The Beach Boys’ pop sensibilities, and expertly arranged musical complexity throughout, the band also enlists Grammy-nominated Spektral Quartet, Mike Hogg, and Ben Roidl-Ward as guest appearances on the album. Though the LP has been in the works for almost a decade now due to various roadblocks, surely, the timing is apt for this ode to the absurd, as we seem to be in something of a golden age of insanity when it comes to headlines.
10 Youtube Videos That Got PAPER MICE Through a Year In Quarantine
NNAMDÏ- Glass Casket
Nnamdi is a true inspiration to us and this video is incredible. It’s hard to pick a song we love the most from his album, BRAT, but this one from Adult Swim is perfect.
Nathalie Joachim and Spektral Quartet, “Suite pou Dantan: Prelid”
I (Taylor) assisted on the initial recording session for this album, and was transfixed by how beautiful the music was. Months later, I heard the final product, and it was somehow orders of magnitude better- reshaped by Nathalie’s additions of samples and synths that ground it contextually in her native Haiti but also untether it from the sometimes stuffy Classical and New Music genres. Dave Reminick, our guitarist and singer, has previously written compositions for Spektral Quartet, and we are lucky to have them featured on two songs on our upcoming album, playing Dave’s string arrangements.
Natalia Lafourcade – Tiny Desk Concert
Everything about this is perfect – her songwriting, her voice, her band. I (Dave) watch it at least once a week.
Bill Wurtz – Ball and Stick
Bill Wurtz is hilarious and brilliant. His music is so harmonically and rhythmically advanced, but it never diverts from his absolute and overwhelming silliness.
Tigran Hamasyan – The Court Jester
Tigran has been a regular on all of our playlists this past year. This live video with the Berklee Middle Eastern Fusion Ensemble slays so hard. Buckle the fuck up cause the tempo change at 5:11 will probably knock you off your chair.
Juan Quintero – Adolorido
Quintero’s melodic writing is intoxicating. In this song it effortlessly glides across barlines, at times seeming to disregard the confines of meter. It’s like a musical puzzle. His voice is beautiful too.
Gentle Giant – So Sincere
Gentle Giant is challenging while being super musical and just so damn fun to listen to, always an aspiration for us. Try to find the beat in the opening. Wherever you think it is, you’re probably wrong.
Absolutely insane collection of songs from our friends from Madison. Mid 90’s skronk
madness/37 songs in 37 minutes.
Trimukhi Tala Transcription-Konnakol
B.C. Manjunath is a staple in our Youtube diets. His konnakol videos are OUT OF THIS WORLD. While his musicianship may fill you with awe, you always walk away inspired to continue learning and developing. This collaboration with Somashekar Jois will make you laugh out loud in amazement.
Judgement on Covid 19
Do we even need to say anything? Perfection.