Folk/rock

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Chris John­ston

On the Cor­ner Where You Live The Pa­per Kites Won­der­lick/Sony Mu­sic In case you missed it, the Pa­per Kites are ac­tu­ally huge. The Mel­bourne quin­tet has cracked the lu­cra­tive US mar­ket with few in Aus­tralia notic­ing, and close to no me­dia re­port­ing its achieve­ments. A 2011 sin­gle, Bloom, went gold; a track called Feather­stone, from the same early EP, was used in the hit TV show Grey’s Anatomy, in a sea­son fi­nale. The band’s record com­pany says it has racked up 47 mil­lion views on YouTube and 260 mil­lion streams on Spo­tify. In De­cem­ber, the group be­gins a vast North Amer­i­can head­line tour. On the Cor­ner Where You Live is its third al­bum, made with Grammy-win­ning pro­ducer Peter Katis, who was be­hind seven al­bums by the Na­tional. So what are the North Amer­i­can au­di­ences re­spond­ing to? There’s a cer­tain amount of re­as­sur­ance in this band’s mu­sic; noth­ing is un­to­ward. The sto­ries told are wellob­served but not chal­leng­ing; the mu­sic is ex­pert and beau­ti­fully ren­dered by all five mem­bers with not a note out of place: nei­ther a shift too abrupt, nor a metaphor too bold. These things are re­as­sur­ing; they make lis­ten­ers feel safe. On the Cor­ner Where You Live is a con­cept al­bum, with song­writer Sam Bent­ley writ­ing as peo­ple liv­ing in the same apart­ment block: the girl who won’t leave by day ( Deep Burn Blue), the wait­ress phon­ing her mother ( Mid­town Wait­ress), the guy fight­ing with his girl ( When It Hurts You). Sim­ple, ev­ery­day stuff, with a lush sound some­times ap­proach­ing a War On Drugslevel of tran­scen­dence while at other times it’s a plain­tive, folk-soaked mid­dle-of-the-road.

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