Nights out in Paris feel different. The people and the clubs are devastatingly cooler, the smoke-filled rooms catch in your throat more, and the stars seem to shimmer ever so slightly brighter as you stumble on the cobbled streets of its liveliest areas. Papooz’s second album, ‘Night Sketches’, pieces together those hedonistic strands in the most marvellous of ways.
Their debut album, the slinky guitar-led ‘Green Juice’, was made for beach-side gatherings around a roaring fire, but there’s something a little more seedier, perhaps, even grittier on ‘Night Sketches’. An odd thing to say about a record that’s so damn smooth, but repeated listens will no doubt prove it so.
Having partly recorded their album at La Frette, the rural mansion near Paris in which Arctic Monkeys recorded ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ , the French duo have seemingly inherited the laid-back vibes that peppered the Sheffield band’s, but with a little twist. ‘Night Sketches’, too, feels like the soundtrack to a run-down and dimly lit hotel bar, though there’s nothing quite so self-pitying here. Instead, we have wicked grooves that you’d only come across through serious crate-digging.
Take the shimmering ‘Pacific Telephone’, funkier than a muddy welly at the end of Glastonbury, or ‘Let The Morning Come Again’ and ‘Downtown Babylon’, both disco bangers that ought to spread their way across across the French capital imminently. Some of the most enjoyable moments arrive when things get grandiose – like when a night out spirals out of control, and nearly results in farce – as on the outrageous ‘Theatrical State Of Mind’ and ‘Bubbles’, where The Beatles’ most extravagant moments are contorted into a real hoot.
Its not all silliness, mind. The restrained ‘Danger To Myself’ and ‘About Felix’ – an ode to a friend who passed away – showcase the same soothing songwriting chops that made ‘Green Juice’ a delicious listen. ‘Night Sketches’ is no different; it’s a delightful soundtrack to your next unhinged night out, wherever you are.