Today PAPER is premiering the newest Papertwin single, “Happy Half Lives” ahead of their upcoming record Family Portraits. Check out the premiere here. Family Portraits is due out via Druyan Records on 11/15.
Regarding the inspiration behind the song, the band explains: “Taking inspiration from Edward Hopper’s painting Room In New York, this song examines the disparity between our inner and outer lives. Who we think we are versus how we are seen and judged by others. Questioning whether you were even born into the right body at the right place or the right time.
The silence between two people sitting in a room can be both ominous and comforting all at once.”
Papertwin started playing music together in 2009, formed by Max Decker after narrowly escaping a lucrative career as a landscape painter. After two homespun EPs and a long hiatus, the band is set to release their first full length album Family Portraits via Druyan Records.
Recorded in Decker’s home studio in Massachusetts with longtime friend Francis Cardinale and receiving guidance from Nick Shopa, the LP was mixed by Jorge Elbrecht (Tamaryn, Sky Ferriera, Japanese Breakfast) and mastered by Heba Kadry (Bjork, Slowdive, Ryuchi Sakamoto).
The friends convened after taking a beat to re-configure and re-evaluate their personal lives after some major changes. Lead singer Max Decker had recently had a kid and moved from New York back to Massachusetts where he had grown up, and instrumentalist and producer Francis Cardinale had just lost his father to a prolonged battle with cancer and decided to re-locate to Los Angeles. The band decided to leave behind the musical orbit they were inhabiting due to these evolving external life circumstances. This genesis & paradox is the foreground of Family Portraits— kind of like a vortex/hole, an accumulation of noise & fragments from where things end & also where things begin. That’s not to say that the band went into this album with the intention of “documenting trauma” or sorting through it via the music, even. The theme of family acts as a foundation, but also as something to be explored. The record is both familiar & unsettling. Shocking but calm. There’s a languidness to the vocal production & melodic sensibility (if you can trace it underneath soundscapes that are unequivocal, fractured, dry & recall some of Talk Talk’s greatest tape collages to date). It’s impressionistic. Something you can’t quite inhabit, but can’t quite easily walk away from either. It’s elusive, self-contained and full of life — full of lives lost and the prospect of newer ones, whether they be sounds, experiences or chapters beginning.