Album Walkthrough: The Paper Kites break down their sensational new album, Roses
The Australian favourites enlist a cast of incredible collaborators for their new album, including Julia Stone and Ainslie Wills.
In 2021, The Paper Kites are nearing a decade of charming indie-folk. Since forming in 2010, the Melbourne-based five-piece have consistently found themselves amongst the upper echelon of Australia's indie world, keeping consistent with their subtle and often potent sound but always moving it forward with everything they release; each one of their last five albums over the last decade flirting with individuality amongst each other, without teetering away from the charm that's defined The Paper Kites' somewhat quiet rise amongst the ranks.
After a while, however, it's hard to continue this sense of evolution, especially in a relatively stripped-back and acoustic sound. For The Paper Kites, their fifth album - last week's arriving Roses - isn't so much an evolution in sound as it is an evolution in songwriting and method, with the group opening themselves up for a collaborative record that across its 10 tracks, enlists 10 different women to join them - each one bringing their own flourishes of excellence and individuality which in itself, moves The Paper Kites' sound forwards.
"I had written these songs and had always wanted to do an album like this, but I remember almost scrapping the whole project because it felt too hard," says the group on the album. "It was about finding the right voices for the songs - artists that couldn’t just sing but had something deep and moving in the way they sang - and that’s not every singer - it’s rare."
Lucky they stuck with it, because the end result - Roses - is something absolutely brilliant. It's an adventurous collection of tracks that fuse The Paper Kites' alt-folk charm with that of the guest collaborator they're alongside. On Steal My Heart Away, it's potent Melbourne favourite Ainslie Wills joining them; on Without Your Love, they enlist the ethereal grace of Julia Stone; on Lonely, they introduce Gena Rose Bruce, and on Take Me Home, New Zealand folk musician Nadia Reid gets her time in the spotlight.
That's just the start, with the group's lead Sam Bentley working alongside Tom Iansek (#1 Dads, Big Scary) to infuse the energies of their guest collaborators with The Paper Kites' distinct sound; the gentle blend of intimate vocals and striking guitar melodies remaining the backbone of The Paper Kites' work despite their exterior collaborators, in a way that isn't a note to stagnation but rather them knowing what works, with minor tweaks keeping things moving forward with everything they put out.
"It’s an album of duets - for lack of a better word," Sam says on the record. "A collection of songs we had written and wanted to record with these artists. It was first and foremost about finding the voices and artists we felt were right for each song." It must've been a hard job considering the talent of the world's indie space, but The Paper Kites have found the perfect picks for Roses, and the record is amongst the best they've done over the last decade of musicianship.
You can take a dive into the album below, and underneath that, find a track by track walkthrough breaking down the album's themes and creation one song at a time, written by the band's Sam Rasmussen. Check it all out below, grab the record here, and find their forthcoming national tour dates righhhhhtttt at the bottom - more information here.
Walk Above The City
This one is my favourite track. The way Sam’s voice sits with Maro is magic. Ever since hearing the early demos back in late 2019, I was hooked.
Climb On Your Tears
Aoife shines from the moment her verse begins. This song drifts along, and could be my favourite to play live.
We have been friends with Lydia since before TPK existed. Her and Sam actually recorded this song years ago in New Zealand. She has a beautiful innocence to her voice while maintaining confidence and maturity.
Steal My Heart Away
This is our attempt at an 80s power ballad. It took some time in the mixing room to balance the layers upon layers of synths but it provides the album with a welcome lift in my opinion
Without Your Love
This song is perfect for Julia. I have been a fan of hers since I was a teenager and it was such a thrill to have her feature on this release.
A lovely moment on the record. I hadn’t heard of Amanda prior to this project but had her latest album on high rotation for a long after making the discovery. Such a character to her voice.
I love how Gena opens this one. No intro, just straight into it. Sam played me this song for the first time while on tour in 2019 and it immediately connected. Simple, sad but beautiful.
Take Me Home
This one, I can’t wait to play live. Sams lives out in the Yarra Valley and this song is simply the perfect soundtrack to that area.
For All You Give
We recorded this one while on tour in Brighton with Lucy. They put it together pretty quickly and it felt like they had been singing together for decades.
By My Side
A fitting end to the record. It was a privilege to have Rosie feature on this one. She has such a seasoned maturity to her voice.
Tour Dates (tickets here):
FRI 13 AUG | STATE THEATRE, SYDNEY NSW (ALL AGES)
FRI 20 AUG | HIS MAJESTY’S THEATRE, PERTH WA (ALL AGES)
SAT 21 AUG | NORWOOD CONCERT HALL, ADELAIDE SA (ALL AGES)
FRI 27 AUG | PRINCESS THEATRE, WOOLLOONGABBA, QLD (ALL AGES)
SAT 28 AUG | ODEON THEATRE, HOBART WA (ALL AGES)
THU 02 SEP | PALAIS THEATRE, ST KILDA VIC (ALL AGES)
Follow The Paper Kites: FACEBOOK