Papal Visit offers another pair of low-fi, garage rock gems with Calling For Jane/Looking For Action on a Saturday Night.
I feel like I’ve talked about Papal Visit so much over the years I’m at a loss as to how to begin telling you about their latest single(s) without repeating myself. But does that really matter? Because if there is one band I think everyone could enjoy or relate to somehow, that band would be Papal Visit. You probably know someone involved with the band or know someone who knows someone involved with the band. This is New Brunswick after all. And we’re all friends, right?
If you have read any of my past musings on this Saint John-based collaborative music project you are already aware of the basics involved in understanding exactly what Papal Visit is all about. But in case you haven’t, here is a quick summary:
Formed back in 2015, Papal Visit began as a songwriting project between two friends and former bandmates: Adam Mowery and Pierre Cormier. After playing together for a number of years, the two eventually ended up living in different cities, in different provinces. As a way of continuing to create together they began sharing lyrics and riffs over the internet and would occasionally meet up to rehearse and record. As the project grew, more and more friends joined the fold. With dozens of singles, a few albums, and even a limited-run, 25-song vinyl release on Monopolized Records, the story of Papal Visit continues to evolve. And if I’m being completely honest, the band continues to hold my attention with a growing enthusiasm. I simply can’t get enough of Papal Visit.
And there’s an esthetic surrounding the project (which is actually a full fledged band at this point) shaped by Mowery’s decoupage artwork, their collective love for 4-track recordings, and their shared respect for that classic era of music when the 45 single reigned supreme. When considered alongside the band’s low-fi, garage rock sound delivery, all of these defining elements combine to create a sound, a look, and an attitude unique among New Brunswick’s music making masses.
The group’s latest release, the two-sided digital single Calling For Jane/Looking For Action on a Saturday Night arrived on July 7 and represents the first new music from Papal Visit since their album Five Fathom Hole was released in November of 2021. Has it really been that long? It doesn’t feel that way to me but then again, I have been spinning my copy of FFH almost weekly since it came out. Does that make me a super fan or a total loser? The jury’s out. Either way, the band is back and in as fine a form as ever.
Side one – Calling For Jane – is a classic Mowery love song. A broken heart. A lost lover. A timeless subject. But what brings this song to life is the way Mowery doubles his vocals. The whole song is sung in harmony with the higher voice helping to create the character of Jane, or at least the feeling that there are two personalities present as the song’s protagonist calls out for his lost companion. It is a pretty clever way of placing a second character in a song without making the song into a duet. In contrast, Looking For Action on a Saturday Night is just as the title suggests. It’s uptempo, anxious, eager, and ready for action. I got off early, my threads are tight. Let’s do this!
Calling For Jane/Looking For Action on a Saturday Night are available on all major streaming platforms.