I confess I’m a serial note taker. Of dreams, ideas, wordplay. Lyrics, lists, useless things. Doodles, bad wit, and a litany of lines that shouldn’t ever see light of day. I’ve got boxes of books filled with thoughts and poetics gathering dust in the eves of an attic. Some parts have made it to record or song, but mostly, they’re best left there waiting.
Norrisette explores what might live on through those pages when words are the marks left behind. If words have a weight, and I believe that they do, ‘Paper’ asks how they take shape and meaning… and how much of that rests on the reader. These ideas have been set down to stitches of songs, set to samples and synthwork, and acrobat vocals, to snapshots and swells of emotion. Like a trove of old photos, all grey-lit and tinged, we explore what existed that moment.
The EP opens fragile, these are all home recordings, these are diary entries about diaries. ‘Unread’ is a mix of untamed easy vocals with just touches of notes in the background. Once the song opens up into Múm electronics, there’s the softest of lines of a spine. But it ends just as soon as it lifts, there’s no want and no reason for structure. Each song lives as a thought that’s been sketched out and left for the listener to take in as wanted.
As we move on from here, the whole concept comes clear. Rhythms are built up from scraps of torn paper, from scrumples and scratches of sound; the subject becomes the main focus. Pen scrapes and scrawlings underpin loops and synths, songs twist from sweetened folk-noir melancholy, to tiny ten-second pop shimmers. ‘Sheets Of Paper’ and ‘Ink’ are the most fully formed, the latter in perfect and complete contrast to Arab Strap’s latest LP. With the same DNA made of private inspection, this is tentative, thought based and cautious. There’s a shyness that gets heard forgetting itself in an EP of intimate sounds.
Talk of ‘ASMR‘ and ‘immersive experiences‘ might raise highbrow and art-house alarms. But the voice, with its naked and open reach out, natural flaws and heard want to explore, it shuts down any art-project fearers. ‘Paper’ expands on its themes in a way that invites and invests our attention.