Album Review: The Paper Kites, States
Clouds float over our heads everyday; constantly moving with the wind and forming shapes in the sky. It’s not until we lie down and take a few moments to appreciate them that they start to form some incredible visuals. Delicately orchestrated, States drifts along in that same daydream fashion.
Signatory to the Melbourne quintet’s style, a bandwagon full of instruments has shaped their first full-length album. With the help of producer, Wayne Connolly (You Am I, Josh Pyke), the songs are full of delightful surprises. St Clarity incorporates luscious layers of gentle saxophone and banjo lines while Never Heard A Sound stands out with a sexy harmonica treat. The soft male and female vocals fuse together with ease, most noticeable in the opening track, Malleable Beings and acoustic songs like Tin Lover and Gates. Living Colourand In Reverie shows off front woman Christina Lacy’s voice – one that can’t be compared to the strength of fellow dulcet-toned singer Lisa Mitchell, but has a pure understated range to serenade us with.
While it is quite clearly a folk inspired record with an abundance of storytelling, there is an unexpected rock sentiment in A Lesson From Mr Gray (a nod to Oscar Wilde). Portrait 19 and Tennenbaum are the best examples of The Paper Kites’ thoroughly in-depth narration. Lyrics like “I won’t give you any tears/Know that I’ll be happy seeing you” dive into a pool of honest and self-reflective emotions. The intricate build up of pretty piano keys and violin strings – worked in alongside the occasional cymbal – cries out for an accompanying performance of Swan Lake.
Thirteen songs and just under an hour long, States doesn’t want to come to an end but as with all good things, it must. Producing an all-in melodramatic finale with I Done You So Wrong, as if every instrument used throughout the album was meticulously incorporated into the song. However an indulgent outro takes away from the heartfelt lyrical contemplation. As a live performance the track would produce a moment where the audience starts to clap in appreciation, only to stop seconds later as they awkwardly realise the concert isn’t quite over.
States is out August 30 through Wonderlick/Sony Music Australia