Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Nov 23rd, 2018

Laura Paragano: Strange Curses

Laura Paragano
Strange Curses
(Laura Paragano)

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Jerry Miller’s bass and some slide from Linden Evans gets us into the swaying easy tempo of “Out for a Surf,” Laura Paragano’s warble-of-a-first-tune from her 10-song, Strange Curses. This San Francisco-based singer/songwriter brings an easy songwriting grace to her surf/by the way of blues/by the way of indie sound. With the expert subtle players behind her it becomes apparent from the get go that Paragano makes the most of her personality, voice, and slightly off-center, yet strong songwriting.

There’s a surf rock single-note key melody on the easy flick of “Can’t Give,” with Miller once up high in the mix and Mike Steczo snapping us along on his snare. Evans manages more perfectly placed lead guitar moments. We get Paragano bringing out her harmonica talents over the beginning rim-shot beat of the wide open “California Dreaming.” This one opens up to a specific languid pace, and even slightly discordant moments-Paragano and Evans manage just slightly off-tune rendering, from some of the vocals she sustains to his string bending-work to create what might be the thickest emotional read for me here.

I just love how “Juliet, Romeo” moves, how Paragano places her harmony vocals and once again Steczo locks into a simple beat playing off the bass and guitar. It’s a nice change-up rocker, showcasing what the players can accomplish as well as Paragano’s songwriting versatility.

The downright scary “Doom/Strange Curses” ends the record. Evans is wailing away in the background and Paragano gets her torch-iest, bringing the wonderful Strange Curses to solid stark end.


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Laura Paragano: Strange Curses