Paper Aeroplanes

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Back in April last year I wrote a post all about my latest greatest musical discovery Paper Aeroplanes (click here!). They quickly became a regular contender in my itunes top 25 most played list and The Day We Ran Into The Sea will always remind me of 2010 for ever more. I was really flattered when Sarah from Paper Aeroplanes contacted me firstly to say she’d read the review and then about a month ago, to see if I’d like a super special advanced preview of their new album We Are Ghosts. Getting to hear one of my favourite new bands before anyone else? Yes please!

After agreeing to take an early listen, I then started to get the fear. When you’ve loved an album by an artist it can be with shakey fingers that you press play on a new one in case for some reason it lets you down! After one listen the whole way through with baited breath I am relieved to reveal, this was definitely NOT the case with Paper Aeroplanes.

The extra good thing is that they have matured and grown their sound, but not so far from their first release  to make it unrelatable or wildly different to what they do best (like so many other great bands do; Interpol & MGMT I’m looking at you!). This album feels slightly more melancholic and retrospective; which is an emotional state I tend to find myself in rather regularly, as do most of my friends! I think it’s a symptom of being a 20-something, stood with your feet over the edge of what feels like forever (the scary future) and looking back at what you have done, where you have been and who you have loved so far.

I think they key to any great musical artist is when it feels like they put your own thoughts and feelings into songs which you can then ponder and empathise with. This album certainly does this. Every track is evocative and really heart wrenching, but most importantly relatable.  This is down to a heady combination of beautifully honest lyrics, infectious melodies and Sarahs absolutely phenomenal voice. It’s strong and smooth and SO pleasant on the ears.

I’m doing the typical thing I do with any new album which is changing my mind about my favourite track on an hourly basis! Which is a very good sign. I think the stand out tracks for me are…

  • Days We Made “and then he came to rescue me, he wrapped me up and set me free, we made a treehouse in the leaves” (an addictive story about returning to a huge love)
  • We Are Ghosts “so lets take a train to the coast, and write postcards we’ll never post, and catch a breeze until we make believe we are ghosts.” (a haunting – ah pun! -track wanting to pretend for just a day that nothing else matters; who doesn’t daydream about this every now and again?)
  • My First Love “and he would call 3 times a day, when there were no more words and nothing left to say” (an upbeat, uptempo ditty about a heroic first love and where/who he is now).

My absolute favourite track however is Safe Hands which is lucky as it’s their first single to be released. Check it out here!

The thing I really like about Paper Aeroplanes as a band is how interactive and engaged with their fans they are. They are constantly communicating via Facebook, Twitter and their awesome blog. And now, they are piloting a really cool scheme which has been reported here by The Guardian where exclusive copies of a CD with four-tracks on will be given away at independent cafes with food purhcases. As if I need any further excuse to go and buy brownies at a cute coffee shop?

So, all in all, double thumbs up for the new Paper Aeroplanes release We Are Ghosts and I look forward to it becoming another regaular contributor to my 2011 soundtrack. Keep your eyes peeled here for release dates/more information!

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Paper Aeroplanes

About five years ago now, a friend made me a mix CD. And somewhere lurking at the very end was a track called Linen by a band called Halflight. It was the most beautiful song I had heard for years, and it quickly became #1 on my itunes most played list. It carried me through lonely Leeds winters and was like a hidden gem, shared and whispered between friends and family that I made future mix CDs for and always put this track first. I never really investigated anymore about the haunting voice behind the song and it just existed like a single perfect entity. And then something happened. My prehistoric desktop computer died after five years of moving house more often than getting a hair cut and being dropped in puddles on numerous occasions in the process (!) and with it my entire itunes and my music folder vanished.

Now it is 2010 and I am a different girl in a different place, and when lurking in the ailes of Rough Trade my eyes glinted at the site of the record artwork above. The photography was so breath-taking that I just had to know more (& I know, I know… never judge a book by it’s cover etc). A few clicks of spotify later and Paper Aeroplanes were lilting out of my monster headphones. After a couple of tracks I began to get that hot itchy feeling of recognising something but not knowing where from. Cogs in my brain whirred and the frustration nagged at me until I had the ! moment when I finally dredged the information from the back of my brain. The voice was the same as the one I had been completely enchanted by on the track Linen. From the very little information I could surf on the net, I could confirm that Paper Aeroplanes are indeed Halflight, with a fantastic new name!

It just seemed so odd that this band have suddenly made a comeback into my life, and through such a random discovery of just completely adoring the artwork on a random sleeve. I think this band are my soulmate? Or something! Even down to the fact that spiffy singer Sarah Howells wearing a dress on the cover that I used to own in bottle green but ripped beyond repair on a deserted-building break in (in the name of photography, not robbery. Honest guv)

Paper Aeroplanes are the most exciting musical discovery I have made this year. It makes it even sweeter that they are UK based and therefore hopefully easily enough to track down and see live sharpish! They have quickly become the soundtrack to my summer, my age and everything that is happening right now. Anyway luckily for me, aside from some amazing EPs and bits and pieces floating around, they have just released a whole entire new album called The Day We Ran Into The Sea which I have been gorging on. My favourite tracks are Lifelight and Newport Beach. Coming from Wales means the themes in the music are beaches, and love, and they are relatable. It makes a change from the American and Australian domination in my playlists. And my ultimate favourite track is Dance All Night which I cannot imagine ever tiring of. Although it is an up-tempo, chirpy number that will have you swaying your hips, the lyrics so accurately describe that heartbreak of clashing and grating against someone you love and it’s just unbearable. Sarah’s voice is just so absolutely sincere and everytime I hear this track, my heart cracks a little bit.

But I’d go dancing every night, if it made everything alright

Do you think that we’d still fight? When we’re dancing, dancing.

Because everything’s not black and white, when we’re dancing every night.

Maybe we’d forget to fight,? When we’re dancing, dancing.

I can’t wait to own a physical copy of this CD as soon as I have some pennies in the bank. The lack of information about them on the internet makes me frown and worry they aren’t getting the hype or recognition they deserve? Which would be tragic.

You can listen here
You can buy here

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