The Paper Kites are one of Australia’s most distinct acts at the moment. Mixing the sounds of classic Australian Rock with the contemporary overloaded, existentially-fueled indie folk of today. Their latest release, Twelvefour, was an astounding success. Playing with the idea of removing creative boundaries imposed on oneself by exclusively creating art in the delirium-inducing wee hours between midnight and four am. Taking this theme a step further, Paper Kites kicked off a tour and brought along with them a dramatization of their album. Where actors portray these moments late at night to accompany the melancholic music.
From the moment The Paper Kites stepped on stage, awe and anticipation quickly ceased any and all noise from the crowed. The audience, knowing they were about to embark on a special journey, were entranced form the onset. Lead singer and guitarist, Sam Bentley’s voice was perfectly pitched, captivating and soothing. Flawless, almost to a fault if you can imagine. For a split second you could be mistaken that he was lip syncing. While the thematic presence behind The Paper Kites’ music may be, in large parts, due to Sam Bently, it is undeniable that he could not have created such a special performance alone. Dream like harmonies, tension-inducing instrumental dissonance and a well practiced, unified essence could not exist without the talent of his fellow musicians.
Lining the back of the stage were four projections, each created to resemble window frames from which were a narration of unconnected strangers living their lives were acted out to The Paper Kites emotive performance. Acting and musical performances are rarely put together in this fashion where both are visible for the audience. Rather than one part distracting from the other, they only managed to highlight how multiple forms of art are frequently interconnected to be greater than the sum of their parts. Emotions were felt.
A stand out deviation from their original creations was Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire.’ Performed primarily by singer and guitarist Christina Lacey. The use of the harmonica created ties to its original with a more “electric” feel and the obvious point of difference being the strong, captivating vocals from Lacey. Every single song performed was utterly faultless; their recent hit ‘Electric Indigo’ was a big crowd pleaser as well as ‘Halcyon’ from their second album Woodland.
The entirety of the night was like a perfect bedtime story. The Paper Kites moved the whole audience to another mind frame with their warm, harmonic sound. With the night ending with an encore, The Paper Kites played the all time favourite ‘Bloom.’ Safe to say the crowd got all the satisfaction they needed, especially when Bentley mentioned the makings of a new album, a lot to look forward too from The Paper Kites.