“This Time Around,” the new track just released by Asheville-based trip-hop outfit Paper Tiger, starts off with an uptempo beat slightly out of character for the band that describes itself as “dirty downtempo.” But give it 10 seconds and what begins as a cool, snappy shimmy of a beat melts into even cooler horns and keys. In fact, cool (as a noun) layers and blankets this song, coloring and texturing it in near-palpable ways. It’s jazz stripped of edifice, soul pared back to its thrumming essence, and r&b boiled down to only its heavy-breathing intent.
Not that there’s any heavy-breathing going on in “This Time Around.” It’s far too cool for that, far too bathed in blue light and remove, far too committed to delayed gratification. It’s the gesture of a shimmer amidst the slink and strut of beats and vocals so controlled and lingering that even a wink would be too eager. “This Time Around” fits in the Paper Tiger arc, but it also demonstrates new directions — a spiraling into subtle matter and minimalism for an effect that flirts with explosiveness although, in truth, it barely lifts its bedroom eyes. The sheer mastery of dirty downtempo bodes well for the band’s forthcoming full-length.
Download the track here: http://papertigerband.bandcamp.com/track/this-time-around-original-mix