First the slow wheezing of an accordion, piano chords hewn into the keys, the guitar comes flying, the prepared grand piano plays the xylophone and then this deep timbre: "Come on, let's go paternoster, it's such a nice day in May, his blue ribbon & you at hand, almost too good to be true". This is how “Papperlapp” begins, the third album by Berlin rock chansonnier Karl Neukauf.
And eleven songs later you have a new music hero. King Karl, who tells wonderfully charming stories with his sublimely deep voice and he wrote, wrote and – with a few exceptions – played all of it himself. Karl Neukauf – who caught the eye of contemporaries in 2010 with his eponymous debut “Karl Neukauf” and its successor “Blaue Erbsen” (2012) – comes from Kassel and lives in Berlin.
It sounds idiosyncratic, bulky, as in "Your world through my eyes" or, sounding like a power plant, it describes the nightmares of an apartment seeker in "Stuck & Hohe Decken".
In his musical forays, Neukauf moves in a field of tension between early Rolling Stones, Hildegard Knef chanson and rumble rock à la Nick Cave and Tom Waits. No matter how clever the arrangements are, it sounds like sympathetic understatement. But the musical all-rounder is no rookie. He knows exactly what he's doing and he's doing it brilliantly. Deep, dark, sonorous, seductive, baritone, 80 percent cocoa.
03 Message in a bottle
04 At the end of the day
05 Everything is possible
07 Your world through my eyes
08 Before the last trains leave
09 stucco & high ceilings
10 moments from the jam jar
11 Autumn is over the rooftops