25 September 2023

On The Corner Where You Live

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By The Paper Kites, Nettwerk records/Wonderlick Entertainment 2018.

The Paper Kites have developed a reputation for producing albums built around a theme.

Their previous album release, On The Train Ride Home, presented a series of songs about the characters, mostly strangers, sharing a train journey home.

The band wrote On The Corner Where You Live while they were in New York.

Front man Sam Bentley explains “Our hotel window in New York City looked straight into the apartment building across the street. You could see these windows lighting up and people getting home from their nights out.”

On The Corner Where You Live is a collection of stories about these characters all living in an apartment building.

The songs capture moments in their lives, their loves and desires, turmoil and disappointments.

Bentley says, “I created a world based on the idea of watching other people, but a lot of the songs are extensions of myself or people I know.”

The music has a melancholic, introspective feel. It is lush and quite hypnotic.

The band originally had the intention of releasing On The Train Ride Home and On The Corner Where You Live as a twin CD package but eventually decided to release them separately because the two albums were musically so different to each other.

Instead, what they have done is link the two albums via the opening track, A Gathering On 57th. The first thing you hear is the sound of a train running along the tracks and a street busker wailing into the night which harks back to the previous album.

The Paper Kites are new to me and I’m quite impressed with their approach to creating music.

The band originated in Melbourne in 2010 and consists of Sam Bentley and vocalist Christina Lacy, Guitarist Dave Powys, Drummer Josh Bentley and bassist Sam Rasmussen.

It’s nice to come across a band that has devoted themselves to exploring the long-form album concept.

In this day and age it’s more common for a young band to release singles and EPs.

I like this album so much that I will hunt out a copy of Train Ride Home to compare the two.

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