The Courier-Mail

FOUR MINUTES WITH The Paper Kites

- BY / CAMERON ADAMS

1 BIG PLANS FOR THE SMALL HOURS

Melbourne band The Paper Kites’ twelvefour was a particular­ly difficult second album. Songwriter Sam Bentley pushed himself out of his creative comfort zone by strictly writing only between the hours of 12 and 4am (hence the title). “I had this strong concept in mind,” Bentley says. “That meant you don’t feel the pressure of trying to live up to whatever the first record did. And it wasn’t like our debut was a huge worldwide smash, it was a slowburner in a good way. This record could be whatever it wanted to be ... a concept record.”

2 IMMACULATE CONCEPT

Some artists cringe at the term “concept album”. Not Bentley. “It is a concept record. There’s some great concept records, like Sgt Peppers. Artists who wanted to try something different. That’s what I wanted to do. When you start getting comfortabl­e in the way you write, your music starts becoming familiar. You need to keep putting yourself in uncomforta­ble positions to get the best out of yourself. I was living at home at the time, so I’d get a few midnight texts from my parents saying ‘You’re being too loud’.”

3 TIRED AND EMOTIONAL

The nocturnal mission saw Bentley experience many unguarded moments. “It was strange to try to flip your sleep patterns upside down. I was falling asleep at the keyboard at the start. I intentiona­lly inflicted a sleep-deprived state on myself so I wasn’t really thinking about what I was writing. When you’re writing with a clean head you’re safe, you stop ideas from coming out. When you’re tired you aren’t restricted by those thoughts. You’re less guarded. I’d keep the tape rolling all night and wake up in the morning and check what came out.”

4 TO BE HONEST, IT’S PURE POP

What came out was an album that’s more honest but also more lush and pop-friendly than their debut. “Songs like Revelator Eyes and Electric Indigo push a new sound. I’m Lying To You Because I’m Lost was me being a little too honest, the title is pretty much exactly what I was doing. Neon Crimson is very honest, about drifting around New York while things are breaking down at home. But you need to inject real emotions into your songs otherwise people see right through it. If you’re not being authentic ... then it’s just a surface pop song.”

 ??  ?? The Paper Kites, with a sleep-deprived Sam Bentley
(second from right).
The Paper Kites, with a sleep-deprived Sam Bentley (second from right).

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