Wax Moon, Wane
It doesn’t take long to realize that Paper Swords are wise behind their years. Despite their recent formation, this Santa Barbara-based five-piece has come out swinging with Wax Moon, Wane, an EP chock-full of sweet and brooding melodic folk numbers. Taking cues from outfits like The Swell Season and recent S.B. stoppers-by Loch Lomond, the band mixes quiet but rich instrumentation (cellos, pianos, violins) with lead singer Ryan Myers’s Glen Hansard-like croon. In addition, the EP’s seven shimmering tracks incorporate everything from gently plucked banjos to harmoniums. The result is a soundscape that swells in all the right places and shimmers everywhere in between. Of special note is the twinkling mid-album waltz “Persistent Stars of the New Moon,” which mixes delicate guitars with a soaring string section and Teresa Ramallo’s pitch-perfect vocals to create a sum even more resonant than its parts.