Sleep deprivation and dreamy melodies with The Paper Kites on Twelvefour

An experiment in sleep deprivation and late night creativity, Melbourne folk-rock five-piece The Paper Kites’ sophomore album Twelvefour was made after two months of songwriting between the ungodly hours of midnight and 4am. With its dreamy melodies, hypnotic vocals and drowsy guitars, this album transports you to a neon lit city to wander the streets in search of meaning.

The Paper Kites twelvefour

In the midnight hour, The Paper Kites found the perfect inspiration for Twelvefour, and we want more. Melancholic and introspective, it’s a stunner.

Bursting onto the scene four years ago, these local legends have gone from strength to strength. Touring North America with City and Colour after dropping their killer debut album States, Sam Bentley, Christina Lacy, David Powys, Sam Rasmussen and Josh Bentley have come a long way since playing in pubs. Wanting to infuse some grittiness into their latest album, they set off to Seattle to work with top-notch producer Phil Ek (Father John Misty, Manchester Orchestra, Fleet Foxes, The Shins) and explore new terrain.

Sparked by a comment made by one of his friends, Bentley based Twelvefour around the theory that an artist’s most creative hours are between midnight and 4am. Deciding to test that theory, Sam locked himself away in his home studio every night between those hours for two months straight and wrote 30 songs. On chatting about the songwriting process, he said that, “It was wild to write until you are so tired that nothing sounded too over-worked – songs didn’t feel restricted by a commonly analytical brain”.

Despite getting to the end of the two months and deciding that he never wanted to go through that process again, Bentley realised that you’re always more melancholy during those hours of nocturnal isolation, which, lucky for us, makes for a brilliant album. Starting the slow drip of sleepless tunes, Electric Indigo slouches into the heavy-eyed terrain.

Inspired by Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Only God Forgives) and that romantic neon nightlife explored in so many of his films, this opener dims the lights and sets the album’s late night mood. Renegade’s woozy 80s electric guitars and lullaby disguised lyrics then pull you deeper into introspection before Revelator Eyes lures you into the dingy underground club and gives you a shot of dream-soaked harmonies.

Neon Crimson and A Silent Cause raise the bleary-eyed melody stakes until country-tinged tune Woke Up From A Dream momentarily rouses you from your slumber. Tumbling into a sobering chorus filled with Bentley’s contemplative croon, melancholy swells when the harmonica and guitar fight it out. But, once even the city’s neon lights call it a night, soulful track Too Late finally wanders the streets with you in search of sleep.

Proving that midnight to 4am can be one hell of a wild time to be awake, The Paper Kites’ sophomore album is dripping in melancholy and introspection. Putting pretty visions of the romantic neon nightlife in your head, you are coaxed into a dreamy state when the clock strikes twelve. With their album out now through Wonderlick / Sony and their national tour kicking off next month, make sure you give these tunes a whirl.

Thursday 15 October – The Gov, Adelaide (ALL AGES)
Friday 16 October – Amplifier, Perth
Saturday 17 October – Settler Tavern, Margaret River
Thursday 22 October – Theatre Royal, Castlemaine (ALL AGES
Friday 23 October – 170 Russell, Melbourne
Saturday 24 October – The Workers Club, Geelong
Thursday 29 October – Solbar, Maroochydore
Friday 30 October – The Soundlounge, Gold Coast
Saturday 31 October – Wooly Mammoth, Brisbane
Thursday 5 November – Lizottes, Newcastle (ALL AGES)
Friday 6 November – The Metro, Sydney (ALL AGES)
Saturday 7 November – ANU Bar, Canberra
Sunday 8 November – Anitta’s Theatre, Thirroul (ALL AGES)