Hearing Aide: Papadosio ‘Extras In A Movie’

“When spring arrives epiphany/I’m still the last leaf on the tree”

As homage to the changing seasons, Papadosio has changed their musical hues from bright neon to softer, more organic colors in their fourth phenomenal studio album, Extras In A Movie. 

Despite their label as a “genre-bending” group of musicians, Papadosio’s initial album releases of Observations and T.E.T.I.O.S. did in fact fall under one specific category- and that was electronic music. Yes, adoring fans may argue that they possess the improvisational capabilities inspired by jazz, progressive rock, and even jam rock to shape their melodic phrasing and musical transitions, and thus don’t belong under the same umbrella as electronic artists Skrillex or Bassnectar. However, I saw a dash of prog rock and a sprinkle of jazz for what they really were to Papadosio- and that is mere sensibility. I believed that to be labeled as a band that dismisses categorization, each style of music had to be crafted on an individual basis, incorporating the key elements and instrumentation of that style, yet somehow creating one inner voice over the entire work, as a subtle reminder of the single creator.

It wasn’t until the release of Extras In A Movie that I felt this proficiency in musical obscurity towards Papadosio, but I am confident that this album will break ground for many listeners, especially those who may not have approved of the band’s stylistic approach at first.

With an addition of some interesting sound effects, acoustic guitars, and tight harmonies, opening track “The Last Leaf,” and tracks “Epiphany,” and “Bypass Default” bring a strong introductory splash to the album, with an erratic yet satisfying mess of musical classes, ranging from styles of barbershop quartets to Pink Floyd to Awolnation. Anthony Thogmartin’s adaptation of vocal timbre throughout each track is complimentary and appropriate, while the surrounding band of Mike Healy, Rob McConnell, Billy Brouse, and Sam Brouse tend to throw in some instrumental surprises, most of the time in an effective and aesthetically pleasing manner.

The fact that the average track is about three minutes long throughout this sixteen track album speaks great masses as well- this album was created to defy the standards of recorded music, and the ideas were organized in this fashion to isolate and preserve the individual conception of each instance.

By writing, recording, mixing, and even video conceptualizing themselves, Papadosio has become the purport of the avant-garde composer, keeping the pillars of studio-induced creativity a strong part of their foundation. Their ability to showcase psycadelia-inspired electronic anthems like the album single “Glimpse of Light,” followed by the stripped down acoustic rawness in “Anima Mundi,” “Gazing the Great Oscillator,” and “Open” adapts Papadosio to any kind of setting, guiding listeners into an array of color, vibrancy, and authenticity. Along with developing their own voice, I also heard inspiration from other great genre gods, including Incubus, Genesis, and Daft Punk.

As part of their grand release, Papadosio has introduced a tour they’ve cleverly named Extras In A Movie Tour – Act 1. If that doesn’t leave you with a curiosity of what “Act 1” implies, I don’t know what will. I suppose the only way to find out is to hitch a ride on their tour, with stops at Irving Plaza, the Westcott Theatre, and Town Ballroom in November.

Key Tracks: The Last Leaf, Epiphany, Bypass Default, Anima Mundi

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