October 12th, 2018 | Album reviews

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Like A Baby
Stones Throw

Jerry Paper’s full-length Stones Throw debut is aptly titled Like A Baby: it’s playful, joyful, and curious, and each of its compactly designed tracks unfurls to bask in the sun like it’s waking up to experience its very first day on earth. Sugary harmonies, wah-wah guitar, diaphanous synths and Lucas Nathan’s distinctive baritone are joined on Like A Baby by the occasional trill of brass and woodwind, Wii-menu riddims and other touches of the fantastical. The result is a rose-colored fantasy tinged with the memory (but not necessarily the sound) of the summer of 1967. Starting frrom the hazy ascent of the opening track and lead single “Your Cocoon,” it all becomes a pleasant daydream, even though his lyrics tread carefully through day-to-day adult realities like instant coffee binges, traffic-jam anxiety moments over money, leaving one’s phone at home to feel healthier, and tossing and turning at 4 AM. Altogether, it’s a bit like the Santa Ana winds that he namechecks on the closing track, “More Bad News”—there’s something warm and almost supernatural in the balance he’s found here between a rosy kind of innocence and an impressively mature musicality.

Christina Gubala