Thursday, September 29, 2011

PAPER AEROPLANES "A Comfortable Sleep"

Stoked from a bruised heart's embers” says the esteemed Adam Walton about Welsh duo Paper Aeroplanes. Well that’s got my attention. Paper Aeroplanes are on their second EP of the year with “A Comfortable Sleep”, both following the debut album “The Day We Ran Into The Sea" in 2009. However don’t expect playful childhood games and levity as suggested by their name. Sarah Howells and Richard Llewellyn play a pared-back, pensive acoustic folk-pop weighed down with adult concerns and disappointments (“Influences: The sea, notebooks, beaches, friends, silence”).

Every day is one day older, dream in tatters” goes ‘All You Need’ and opener ‘Tuesday’ pores over the minute details of the 24 hours before a relationship finally finishes, the terse exchanges and the difficult pauses “every word, every comma analysed”. It’s not all unrelenting gloom – ‘All You Need’ ultimately suggests that all you need is, of course, ‘love’ and in ‘Painkiller’ there’s a quiet, steely hope as the singer tries to soothe and support a friend in trouble. The four songs here are all performed with minimal instrumentation – picked or strummed acoustic guitar with occasional violin or cello – it’s a sparse but richly atmospheric setting for Howells voice, at times flinty, full and crystal clear, at others frail and faltering. The cosy fireside intimacy and honest confessional nature of Paper Aeroplanes recalls a silkier, less acerbic Martha Wainwright or the more hushed, starker songs of Emily Barker.

Paper Aeroplanes are off on an extensive October and November tour including an afternoon performance this Saturday on The Book Barge at Castlefield Basin, Manchester followed by York, Liverpool, Birmingham and London in the coming week.

Paper Aeroplanes A Comfortable Sleep [BUY]

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