Synth group Papertwin (Max Decker, Francis Cardinale, Nick Shopa) was founded in 2009. Its debut EP “Porcelain,” released in 2011, offers a dark, reverent vision of new wave, embracing its high energy while drifting into a territory of dreams and half-light. The quartet is set to release its second EP, “Peru,” this spring.
Decker and Cardinale, the group’s founders, began making music together at the Vermont boarding school Putney in the early 2000′s. Their collaborations resumed years later in the studio they built in their Bushwick apartment. This home/studio scenario fueled an inescapable, inexhaustible creative process that was crucial in shaping their sound, which emphasized nuanced melodies and textural electronic components. Since their first show at Brooklyn’s Legion bar with former bassist Joel Morales they’ve gone on to perform with bands like Light Asylum, Blood Diamonds, Acrylics, Slow Dance and Suckers (with whom Cardinale has toured as a drummer.)
A decisive moment in Papertwin’s pull towards synth-based arrangements came in 2010 with the recruitment of Shopa. The two had attended New York’s audio engineering school SAE together and Cardinale recalled Shopa reciting a nonsensical, expletive-rich paragraph from his final paper describing imaginary planets. (Shopa had hoped to prove that the teacher’s hadn’t been reading their papers all year.)
Papertwin recorded and produced the five songs on “Porcelain” in Cardinale and Decker’s apartment. Its programming is lush and propulsive, mixing intricate arrangements with heart-felt pop. Decker is also a painter (see the EP’s cover), and his voice, like his art, is gifted with an inchoate beauty, for which he finds submerged, incandescent melodies.