PAPA, featuring former Girls member Darren Weiss on vocals and drums and bassist Danny Presant, has been around for five years but the band is just now preparing to release its debut full-length album.
Perhaps that’s why PAPA has decided to hit the road for a short summer tour of the west coast, which will give it a chance to test out the new tunes before live audiences. They start tonight night with a headlining gig in Portland before heading to Seattle for a Wednesday show at Neumos in support of Rogue Wave.
Their as-yet untitled album is set for a fall release and features a diverse array of tunes, from the driving “Put Me To Work,” to the super chill “Got To Move.” According to Weiss, that’s very much intentional.
“We try when we’re writing songs not to repeat ourselves thematically or sonically,” Weiss said. “I think for a while that sort of worked against us because instead of doing one thing over and over again and that being our sound, we’re more interested in trying everything.”
However, it seems as if PAPA has gotten a handle on just how to find that balance, though Weiss said their influences still run the gamut from country to hip hop. It makes for a somewhat uneven collection of tunes, but there are plenty of winners and a couple of truly standout tunes — such as “Cotton Candy,” which sounds just like summer — and “Tender Madness,” bubbling with 60s nostalgia.
“There are things that were influenced by Patsy Cline, there are things that are influenced by the Talking Heads, there were things that were influenced by A Tribe Called Quest and there were things that were influenced by the Bad Brains,” he said. “Hopefully that’s reflected because we weren’t interested in making an album that was one color for one person.”
While many bands might be feeling the heat of putting out their first full-length record after being together for half a decade, Weiss said it’s simply not so for PAPA.
“It’s been a really organic, grassroots thing the way that it’s grown,” he said. “There’s no pressure like, ‘This is our f—-g moment. We’ve got to make it.’ I don’t really care about things like that. I’m not really career or goal oriented. I care about making good art. I put pressure on myself in any artistic arena I put myself into to do the best work I’m capable of doing.”
Weiss said that PAPA hangs its hat on energetic live shows. Decide tomorrow whether PAPA’s something-for-everything take on indie rock swings toward pastiche or pop transcendence.
PAPA and Rogue Wave
8 p.m, Wednesday at Neumos, 1122 E Pike St., Seattle; $16 (206-709-9442 or neumos.com)
-Owen R. Smith, on Twitter @inanedetails