What would happen if you penned an entire record between the hours of 12 and 4 in the morning? Melbourne five piece The Paper Kites found out, literally crafting their sophomore album twelvefour when the rest of the world was asleep.
“The album is a concept record, based around a theory that an artist’s creative peak is between the hours of midnight and 4am,” says frontman Sam Bentley. The result is a collection of 10 tracks, mixing the introspection of the night with smooth guitar rifts. “If I could sum up the album, it’s about what happens when selfishness and love collide.”
Describing twelvefour as an “open letter,” Bentley spent two months routinely writing in the early hours of the morning to create it. “[It is] words and melodies written very late at night to attempt to understand the heaviest of choices, which is choosing someone else or yourself.”
A follow up to their successful debut LP States, the musical progression of the band is obvious throughout their upcoming release. “There has been defining inspiration and theme to the songs for this album,” shares guitarist Dave Powys. “It seems like a natural progression to me from States. We’ve started using some drum sampling and a few more synths as part of the staple sound.”
Heading to Seattle earlier this year, The Paper Kites recorded the album with Grammy award winning producer Phil Ek, who has worked with the likes of Manchester Orchestra and The Shins. “Phil was great to work with and also pushed us when we deliberated on tones and sounds,” says Powys. “He was a good jockey on the horse in a slow race of making a record.”
The once in a lifetime opportunity of working with Ek was a learning process for The Paper Kites. “He was really honest with us, sometimes brutally, but all in the interest of making a better record,” says Bentley. “He made a real point about letting things be how they sounded like they wanted to be.”
Dropping their led single, “Electric Indigo,” the evocative melody is matched by a clip featuring Laura Brent (The Chronicles of Narnia, A Few Best Men). “[The] song was inspired by some Nicholas Winding Refn films and more of a romantic neon nightlife them than a specific story,” shares Powys. Fans of the clip will also be pleased to know that film maker Matthew Cox filmed the upcoming documentary about the making of twelvefour, which the band have described, saying, “It’s not all sunshine and rainbows.”
The success of The Paper Kites has occurred rapidly, and since their formation 4 years ago they have performed headlining tours internationally, even being invited to tour across North America with City of Colour (Dallas Green). Of all their time spent touring, Powys says their finale in Vienna stands out as a memorable moment. “We had a great night with our good pals Horsethief. It was the finale evening that you always hope for! The venue really looked after us.”
With the release of twelvefour comes a national headlining tour this August. “It should be a great tour,” says Powys. “We’ll give the album a good run and throw in some of our faves from some of our old records. Should be good times!” So how does the band maintain their bond while on the road?
“We try and be patient with each other and respect one another’s space when needed. Also, we tend to dick around all the time. It’s the only way to survive. We play games to solve any disputes and vote as a democracy on everything.”
Time away from home also comes with a cost, and in typical Melbournite fashion, missing quality coffee is one of them. “I miss my wife and my dog. We all miss our families and other friends.” Shares Powys. “I miss walking down to my local café on the weekend to read the paper and drink quality espresso.”
The rest of 2015 looks to be stellar for this indie rock/folk outfit. Dropping twelvefour on August 24, their national tour begins October 15. “I hope that the people who listen to our music continue to go along with us,” says Bentley. “We’re really excited to be taking these songs on the road and bringing everyone up to speed with where we’ve been.” For tour information and tickets, you can visit The Paper Kites’ Official Website.