Discovering Paper Aeroplanes

Well here it is: 100 blog posts! Before I start today’s post, I would like to thank everyone who has read this blog and I would like to encourage you all to share this page around if you have enjoyed reading its content. Thank you.

Last week I went to a gig in London at the Union Chapel, which is a spectacular venue that has breathtaking architecture, balconies that overlook the stage and stained glass windows that shimmer from the glow of the lighting rigs. The band I went to see were a semi-acoustic pop duo called Paper Aeroplanes, who performed on stage with a full band consisting of a drummer, a bassist, a keyboardist and a cellist.

Paper Aeroplanes’ magical performance.

They were supported by two fully acoustic acts; the first a duo from Mississippi who had only just started making music together earlier this year and the second an Australian solo artist called Stu Larsen. Larsen was a joy to watch; his face was a constant picture of emotion, putting everything he had into his slightly left-field vocals, whilst underpinning his subdued, yet refined, guitar playing with percussive techniques. The same can be said about the first duo, because even though their relative inexperience showed, the pair performed several beautiful arrangements (that were routed in folk and country) that held their own against the acts that followed.

As the tagline to my blog suggests, pop and acoustic music isn’t my normal choice of listening, however, I do have a soft spot for melancholic (or anti-) pop, such as The xx or Soley, which extends to experimental indie acts such as Alt-J and North Atlantic Oscillation. This particular gig was a suggestion from my girlfriend and after the first listen to Paper Aeroplanes’ latest release Little Letters, I was hooked.

Tracks like Multiple Love and Circus irradiate the darkest emotions, marrying the beauty of Sarah Howells’ vocals with the bleak soundscapes painted by a sombre piano melody and a swelling acoustic backing respectively. Little Letters also features up-tempo tracks, like the album opener When The Windows Shock, which features a memorable lick from guitarist Richard Llewellyn. However, the highlight of the album is the title track, which evolves from a gloomy introduction into an epic crescendo, making great use of strings, with close competition from the introverted indie track At The Altar.

Prior to Little Letters, which was released in 2013, Paper Aeroplanes released We Are Ghosts in 2011 and The Day We Ran Into the Sea in 2010, which follow a similar musical blueprint; mixing uplifting and sorrowful tracks, led by the superb vocals and melodies of the duo. Paper Aeroplanes are a great find and if you’re a fan of honest, well-crafted acoustic tracks, then look no further than this Welsh pairing and their heart-felt music.

Join the RockAtlantic mailing list by clicking on follow and as always please like if you enjoyed this blog and let me know what you think of Paper Aeroplanes in the comment section below. Thank you.

– James




4 thoughts on “Discovering Paper Aeroplanes

  1. The duo from ‘Mississippi’ were in fact Lewis & Leigh, comprising Al Lewis from south Wales with a couple of English language and 3 or 4 Welsh language solo albums behind him – and with whom Sarah Howells has sung and written songs (look on YouTube) – and Alva Leigh who is I believe from Nashville, TN but moved over to the UK a year or more ago with her husband and has two solo albums available. They met late 2013, first started playing together in January and played live for the first time when duetting on four of their jointly-written songs in the middle of an Al Lewis ‘solo’ gig at St Pancras in May this year. They released an EP in October and have a new single ‘Paradise’ out in January. Janice Long on BBC Radio 2 is a huge fan. Hope that helps!

    • Ah yes, that was their name, thanks! Just checked and according to their twitter Leigh is from Mississippi. I thought they had several great tracks and they are certainly ones to watch for the future. I feel as if being first on the bill in such a special venue may have made them slightly nervous, which showed slightly in the first few songs, but they were very good regardless!

  2. Pingback: Music for Spring | RockAtlantic

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