QUIETLY FLYING HIGH
MELBOURNE indie band The Paper Kites’ song Bloom has hit gold status (500,000 sales) in the US, and is now closer to reaching the million-mark.
The band are about to embark on a world tour playing major venues across the US, Canada and Europe, many of which they’ve sold out. Yet they remain off the radar for many; relying on word of mouth.
“Every time we go back to the States the shows are getting bigger,’’ frontman Sam Bentley says. “We’re playing Le Poisson Rouge in New York and the Fonda Theatre in LA. I don’t think people in Australia know how it’s all going but I’m happy to be quietly achieving. People are hearing our music all over the world and connecting to it. We don’t need to make a big deal out of it, it’s what we love to do and it’s great to see it growing.”
Bloom, first released in 2010, has had 170 million streams on Spotify and the video has had 20 million YouTube views.
The comments capture people discovering the song through streaming playlists (The Paper Kites’ most effective marketing technique), with remarks like “came across this band by mistake. Best mistake I’ve ever made.”
“I’ve always wanted to find this mixture of sad but hopeful in our music,” Bentley says. “You talk to people at shows on the other side of the world and they’re so thankful for finding your music and how much it means to them.”
“I know for myself there’s bands I listen to that I find a lot of healing in. To be able to be that for someone else, and have people so deeply connected to your music and be so passionate about it, that’s the reward right there.
After two ARIA Top 20 albums (2013’s States and 2015’s
twelvefour), this year The Paper Kites released two albums, written at the same time, but released a few months apart.
On the Train Ride Home and
On the Corner Where You Live were both created in New York last year (and recorded in Connecticut), with Bentley writing many of the lyrics imagining the occupants of apartment building.
“Humans have a fascination watching other people going about their lives,” Bentley says. “One (Corner) is more of a band record, one is almost like a solo record (Train), with such minimal instrumentation, but they both had the same lonely, romantic solitude, late-night feel about them. They feel like two different expressions of that same feeling and that mood.
“There’s not a lot of room these days when you look at the average pop record to attempt to inform the listener of what type of album is going to be or set the mood in any way, it’s usually straight in there with the big hits.
“I believe in an album as a full listening experience, I wanted the opportunity to paint a theme and give a bit of a tone of what to expect.”
SEE THE PAPER KITES, The Forum, March 23. Ticketek