Stream: PAPA, ‘Barcelona’

PAPA (Photo by Travis Schneider)

Propelled by singer-songwriter-drummer Darren Weiss, PAPA authored two albums (2013’s “Tender Madness” and 2016’s “Kick at the Dust”), an EP and live performances measured in sweat rather than attendance. Just when you thought Weiss, whose credentials as a heavy hitter are unassailable, might resign PAPA to the past, something new would always pop up.

So today brings the frolicking new single “Barcelona,” which more or less hews to the PAPA aesthetic: classic rock made by artists who are decidedly not classic rockers. It’s PAPA’s first release in a couple of years and finds Weiss, who has been busy as a touring and session drummer with the likes Lana Del Rey, Albert Hammond Jr. and Perfume Genius (among others), having made good use of his time during lockdown.

“Earlier in the pandemic, I was searching through some old files, and I found a folder of PAPA demos that we never got to use,” Weiss says. “The music still sounded really fresh and exciting to me, and made me realized there was still a lot I wanted to say as PAPA. So that led to a whole new batch songs inspired by the energy of those older demos.”

“Barcelona” is one of a batch of songs Weiss has planned for a full-length, though the timeline for its release is fuzzy. It’s not as rawboned or frenetic as, say, “Put Me to Work,” but Weiss’s from-down-deep vocals have that old urgency.

“I would say that if you were into those older records, the energy and point of view is still there,” Weiss says. “It feels like PAPA, but it doesn’t sound like anything we’ve done before. There’s a whole wealth of new experience and curiosity that has brought the music to another level. And that’s really exciting to me.”

Expect to hear some it on Monday when PAPA returns to the stage at Zebulon.

||| Stream: “Barcelona”

||| Live: PAPA plays Zebulon on Monday, May 22. Tickets.

||| Previously: Live at Zebulon, interview (Monastereo), Live at the Bootleg, “Comfort’s a Killer,” “Hold On,” Live at the Roxy, “I’m Sorry” (and a bunch more)