Thursday, 17 September 2015

Album Review - twelvefour

by The Paper Kites (out now)

Two years after the release of the soul-stirring debut States, Melbourne music makers The Paper Kites return with the equally moving twelvefour. I know, it's been out for a couple of weeks... but I've had it on a list. Yes, there is a list. There's a lot of excellent music going around, yeah. And if there was an album I wanted to take the time to listen to properly, absorb the atmosphere and fall in love with (as if there was any doubt I wouldn't), it was going to be this one. twelvefour is made for those that want an album that will let them completely disappear as you lose yourself in the music. From the moment 'Electric Indigo' begins, you can comfortably fall into the world of The Paper Kites right until the final guitar notes of closing track 'Too Late' leave you wanting more. 

'Electric Indigo' could be the band at their most confident. Sam Bentley's voice seems smoother, maybe even a little dreamier and completely deserving of delivering lines to match like, "cause you've got something that I need, something I can't find." As primarily a folk-leaning indie act, twelvefour finds The Paper Kites expanding their sound, taking them in some interesting rock-y direction. 'Revelator Eyes' is incredibly catchy and guaranteed to put a bit of a spring in your step. I didn't think it was possible for someone to make a song that makes you want to get up and dance and chill right out at the same time. Maybe I'm just too lazy to get up, but I think it's more the fine balancing acts The Paper Kites are capable of carrying out in their music. Take 'A Silent Cause' for example, it's a track that makes you feel like your heart is breaking but at the same time you can't stop yourself from smiling. A relatively simple arrangement that puts the focus on warm guitar and the harmonies of Bentley and Christina Lacy, it took me about ten listens before I could move onto the next track. I'm going to keep on coming back to this one, it's really beautiful work from a band known for their beautiful music. "You say all the people you know, all are slowly dying from a silent cause, from their quiet desperations, I walk you home in the rain, pass by the yellow line train, thought that I was different when you looked at me, but this quiet desperation is killing me too, killing me too." Lyric game, beyond strong. To smile or cry? This will probably happen at first...

For those that originally fell for The Paper Kites and the beautiful banjo that took us into 'St. Clarity', you'll find more than enough to love about twelvefour, which builds upon the sounds of States as opposed to moving away from them completely. Yes, you'll hear David Powys' banjo throughout and yes, it's still awesome. There's also some bluesy elements that are pulled off very nicely, like the guitar work in the definitively heartbreaking 'Too Late'. "You're always in my head, branding your fire on my lips, but this still won't work no, no, love you have come too late." Stop dragging this heart around, but don't stop dragging this heart around. It's like the relationship that begins in 'Electric Indigo' was doomed from the start and you'll just find yourself back at the start after 'Too Late' finishes anyway, so get ready to experience it all over again. It's all kinds of awesome. And another stellar addition to the discography of one of our favourite Australian acts. Or just acts in music. The Paper Kites are really that good. And so is this album. My words don't do it justice. The Paper Kites' do though. Go and listen to them.

Matt Bond gives twelvefour four and a half guitar emoji out of five...

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