So if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past couple of months, you may recall a post on the Los Angeles-based indie pop duo Papa. Comprised of of Darren Weiss (vocals and drums) and Danny Present (bass), the duo have been playing in a number of bands and projects since they were both 11. Over the past couple of years, they’ve steadily built up a national profile as they’ve played this country’s festival circuit and have opened for renowned acts such as Cold War Kids, Of Monsters and Men, Handsome Furs, Florence and the Machine, and others. After a busy schedule of intense touring, the duo went into the studio and began working on material that reportedly is a change in sonic direction, largely influenced by the experiences they’ve had while touring — playing sold-out amphitheaters, half-filled and empty clubs, receiving major label support, self-releasing material and so on.
Weiss and Presant’s latest single “Hold On” is the first original material they’ve released since the release of their 2013 full-length effort, Tender Madness and the single is a funky, club-friendly track consisting of propulsive bass line, twinkling keys, big boom bap drumming and soaringly anthemic hooks that you can picture a club or arena full of kids lustily shouting along with, paired with urgently plaintive vocals that give the song a direct emotionality. And honestly, that shouldn’t be surprising as the song pleads with the listener to hold on to their precious sense of individuality in a society that increasingly pushes you to blindly conform.
Sonically, Papa’s latest single falls into the crowded, contemporary crop of 80s inspired pop and compares favorably with the likes of St. Lucia, Haerts and others. But I think that where Papa manages to set themselves apart is in the fact that “Hold On” swoons with a desperate and youthful urgency — while possessing a self-assured, larger-than-life swagger. Oh, and let’s not forget those incredibly catchy hooks.
The recently released music video possesses a surreal logic as it begins with the full touring band playing the song in an empty studio. Right above them is a disco ball covered with a dead octopus, which ends up being used later. You’ll also see the song’s chorus sung by members of the band and a full chorus covered in bright neon-colored latex paint and gloriously (and endearingly) cheap special effects that emphasizes both the song’s dance floor leanings and the band’s inherent goofiness.
The duo along, with their touring band have a few dates remaining on their Fall West Coast tour. Check out the remaining tour dates below.
Dec 6 – Constellation Room Santa Ana, CA
Dec 9 – The Casbah San Diego, CA
Dec 10 – Crescent Ballroom – Phoenix, AZ