“hypnotic sonic tension” – With Guitars
“ascendant musical magic” – Beats Per Minute
“tender and beautifully orchestrated” – Folk Radio UK

In September 2019, Paper Beat Scissors released the tender and beautifully orchestrated Parallel Line, exploring the fragility, complexity, and fundamental importance of human connection, a theme that has obviously taken on more and more resonance in the past year as we all grapple with our unexpected isolation.

Now Tim Crabtree has announced the Spanish reworking of a selection of those songs titled La Mitad, the seed for which was planted in slightly surreal circumstances during a summer trip to Nova Scotia where Crabtree had been flown in to cameo as Freddie Mercury during Halifax’s annual Pride concert. Killing time before the show, he’d had the urge to listen to a song he’d adored in his youth: “Just Another Day”, an over-anguished power ballad by Gloria Estefan’s back-up singer, Jon Secada. After the song finished, the streaming service autoplay cued up a Spanish version of the song that Crabtree hadn’t realized existed. Hearing such a familiar song in a different form set something off in Crabtree’s mind, and when he returned from the trip, he set about translating the songs from Parallel Line that he felt would carry best in Spanish.

listen to Formas // pre-order EP // watch video // order Parallel Line LP/CD
This new single and EP opener, ‘Formas,’ is about “the knots we tie ourselves in, the messes we get ourselves in, but lay at another’s door, particularly in the realm of relationships” says Crabtree. Musically the song holds a hypnotic tension created through the ever-repeating electric guitar riff and Crabtree’s floating falsetto.

Washes of pedal steel (Mike Feuerstack – Bell Orchestre) and French horn (Pietro Amato – Patrick Watson, Land of Talk) flit in and out before the steam builds through dislocating counter-rhythms on the piano and a crescendo of drums pushes the song to overflow. “Yo quiero todo, no quiero nada” (I want it all. I want none) comes the mantra. But when the cacophony subsides there’s no resolution, no catharsis, the character is stuck where he started. The single is paired with a visually stunning video centered around a concept worked up by director Derek Branscombe over many months. “I think Derek reflects the spirit of the song really wonderfully on the visual level – all this beauty and tension, all these situations on the verge of collapse, but when the dislocation comes it’s in unexpected ways.”