The Paper Kites are currently one of Australia’s leading indie pop bands. After numerous Australian and overseas tours and their 2011 single Bloom gaining Gold status in North America, The Paper Kites have found a loyal worldwide following.
These legends of atmospheric indie pop are back and raring to go with a whole heap of new tracks to make up for their three-year break since their last album Twelvefour. First, they dropped ‘On the Train Ride Home’ in March this year, filled with sweet acoustic guitar riffs and just pure, wholesome, folk-y tunes. Next, their most recent single, Deep Burn Blue, takes the pace up a notch with a genius mix of dreamy guitar, drum beats and Sam Bentley’s iconic crooning vocals. With the news that they will be releasing another album, On The Corner Where You Live, on September 21, you can say we’re already starting to get a little bit too excited.
BYO had a chat to Dave Powys about their new releases, the romantic concepts behind them and the fact that Australian crowds just aren’t as rowdy as American ones? What’s up with that guys?
Have a read of the chat below.
BYO: The new album is set to be released soon! How do you feel about it and are you excited for it to be heard?
Dave: Yeah I’m really excited about it! It’s been a while between releases before March, when we released On The Train Ride Home, and now it’s going to be two albums in one year. We’re really excited about the concepts and the difference between those two albums as well. Anyone who likes our band and has been following our band has been very patient between albums, so it’ll be nice to bring out heaps of material in the one year.
BYO: Tell us about the album and the concept behind it? How is it different from Twelvefour?
Dave: There is a theme behind the writing of this album that there wasn’t as much for Twelvefour. A lot of this album came together for Sam, who was writing it, through inspiration such as noir films and late night, romantic, New York evenings and Jazz bars, and old frank Sinatra records. It tells a lot of stories of different people and characters that feels pretty cinematic, it feels like these old films have turned into romantic pop songs.
BYO: What was the writing and recording process like with producer Peter Katis?
Dave: Sam Bentley writes the songs, and then together as a band we write each our extra parts and put the songs together to their final stages. We worked a lot on the songs in rehearsals and over the course of a few months until we were happy and had selected which songs we wanted to record. We then went over to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to record with Peter Katis. That was a really great experience, he was really good to work with. There were even a few songs that we put together really in the studio with Peter. We had a pretty good idea, but the final arrangements came together in the studio just before we recorded them.
BYO: I read Katis’ studio is in a house, and you were all living in the studio? Did that get too intense at all?
Dave: I thought it could get a bit intense and feel like sardines in a can at some points, but it actually worked out really well! It was this beautiful old house in Bridgeport that was four storeys. The studio was on the top level and then there’s a big commercial kitchen and seven bedrooms and a basement. We had a lot of room but it was also really nice to be living in the studio. I think creatively, it was easy to put down your inspiration as soon as it came. Also, if drums were getting tracked or you weren’t needed, you could just go out for a walk or make some food or hang out in your room or read a book, or whatever. It was really cool. You could have your own space without being too far away.
BYO: You’re heading to the States and Canada for a tour in November; where do you prefer playing, in Australia or overseas? Are the crowds different?
Dave: There’s good things about both. I think traditionally we’ve always been a little bit nervous to play at home; especially in Melbourne, because we know a lot of friends and family will be in the crowd; which adds a bit more of a personal touch. There’s people who know your story and you for a long time. So performing to those people I think it’s a bit scary, or has more pressure riding on the performance. It’s self-made pressure though.
The biggest difference for me is in North America, I think people are more free and more likely to be enthusiastic about bands that they’re going to see. No one’s afraid to dance or jump around and make a fool of themselves. I think Australian audiences are more reserved.
BYO: Your single Bloom has been extremely successful, becoming certified Gold in the US; how did you guys react to that news?
Dave: It was kind of surreal. A song that is so old… It’s always taken us places that song. If we have any success, we can credit a lot of it to Bloom doing as well as its done. But yeah man, we just went nuts when we got the email; saying that the song had gone Gold. I was trying to remember ‘What does that mean again? How many sales is that?’
But yeah, first of all North America, but turns out there’s a whole bunch of other places that has moved a fair few units of that song. So yeah, hopefully we’ll be expecting our first official plaque on the doorstep soon!
BYO: Oh no! You haven’t gotten it yet?
Dave: Yeah haven’t got it yet, but it should be any day now. Maybe there’s a holdup at the printers. We’ll be getting individual ones too which is good.
You can stream the latest album On The Train Ride Home and latest single ‘Deep Burn Blue’ now. On the Corner Where You Live will be released 21 September.