After making waves last year with their debut release ‘Woodland’, indie-folk rockers The Paper Kites are back with their latest EP.
And while ‘Woodland’ earned the quintet a cult following among Triple J listeners, vocalist Sam Bentley says the group are progressing from their earlier sound.
“It got a great response and at the time when we released the 'Featherstone' and ‘Bloom’ videos, that stuff was still quite exciting and fresh,” Sam explains. “But over the last year it's been done to death and you see a lot of bands that are doing the forest thing and that's cool, but [with] this new release we’re trying to move forward from that.”
The Paper Kites’ latest studio effort, ‘Young North’, was released last month and comes a year after the band issued their first EP. But Sam insists the follow-up wasn’t rushed.
“I think when you've only released five or six songs like when we did with 'Woodland', it's nice to put some new stuff out there for people to get stuck into. When we released 'Woodland', people had an idea about us and you always want to keep building on that idea and let [fans] know … you're experimenting with your sound and progressing.”
However, according to Sam, the group initially entered the studio with plans to record their first full-length album, meaning an abundance of new material has been shelved for a possible future release.
“From the release of 'Woodland' to this EP, I've been writing non-stop and that's why we had so many songs to choose from. There was no repeated process for any song — they were all different and were written in different places.
“I sent the guys about 30 songs on two different playlists for them to mull over for a good month or so, and then we all came back together and everyone said the songs they liked. There are so many songs that haven't been recorded yet … so maybe they'll sneak their way onto an album [in the future].”
And upon recording ‘Young North’, The Paper Kites enlisted well respected Wayne Connolly (Josh Pyke) to co-produce the EP.
“Wayne's great. You often forget he’s won so many ARIAs because he's such a sweet guy. He's not one of those egotistical producers that get in your face and try to change all your music.
“And as a songwriter, I'm always sceptical of people taking my work and tearing it apart, but he didn't do that at all. He was keen on the structures of the songs as they were which is really complimenting to a songwriter because he didn't want to change what I'd written.”
Choosing Wayne was a no-brainer for the band considering Sam and guitarist Christina Lacy grew up with a mutual love for Josh Pyke’s music. Hell, the success of ‘Woodland’ earned The Paper Kites a touring opportunity with their aforementioned hero, as well a string of dates with Boy & Bear.
“It was a real eye-opener for us because we hadn't done any form of touring before we were on those tours. And at the time we didn't have any management and weren't [with] a booking agency so we … had to learn how touring worked by ourselves.
“On the Josh Pyke tour we were really cautious not to get in anyone's way and we were being really careful. They had a scary tour manager,” Sam laughs. “He's actually a lovely guy and he's amazing at his job, but we were terrified of him.
“By the time the Boy & Bear tour came along, we knew what we were doing and those guys were so lovely … and accommodating to us. It's rare for a headlining band to make an opening band feel as comfortable as they did, and they were eager to pass on what they'd learned from their experiences. I think we take that with us now and make sure that we do the same for the young bands we tour with.”
’Young North’ is out now. The Paper Kites play Woombye Pub Oct. 25, Soundlounge Oct. 26 and The Zoo Oct 27.