SOUND: INDIE ROCK / FOLK ROCK
'States' is a beautifully relaxed album from the Melbourne five-piece band. It's largely like floating down a river on a sunny day - you hit the occasional rapid, but for the whole, it's a laid-back ride. Their music has a very stripped-back feel, but with a great deal of atmosphere - there are detailed nuances and subtle sounds so delicately layered to create not just music, but a mood.
A really important part of 'States' is that it feels like an album. Coming in at 56 minutes and totalling 13 tracks, it's significantly substantial while still pleasantly easy to get through. That kind of duration allows for great diversity: there's tunes like 'In Reverie' with a country twang, the folkier sounds of 'Gates', or the slow rock track 'A Lesson From Mr Gray'.
There are some masterfully addictive songs throughout the album; a personal favourite is 'Young', with its gently plucked acoustic guitar and incandescent harmonies from the band. Opening track 'Malleable Beings' is a warm, welcoming introduction, Sam Bentley and Christina Lacy's gentle vocals delicately interwoven. The single 'St Clarity' features the gently drifting sound of a banjo that pulls the song onward.
There are some masterfully addictive songs throughout the album.
For a young Australian band, The Paper Kites have a very mature, worldly sound. To their credit, they've built a solid following both here and abroad in the past few years, and things are only going to get bigger for them. If you have the chance to catch them on tour, do it now. Next time around might not be so easy.
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