2.1 Beginnings (2010),
2.2 Woodland (2011),
2.3 Young North (2012),
2.4 States (2013),
3 Musical style,
5.1 Studio albums,
7 External links,
Before the formation of the Paper Kites, the current five members were close friends. In high school, Sam Bentley and Christina Lacy began writing and playing music together and continued to do so for a few years after high school. They gained some attention by playing in their home town of Melbourne, Australia.
In 2010, they were accepted to play at a local music festival, and Bentley and Lacy decided to expand the line up for the show. Sam Rasmussen, David Powys and Josh Bentley then joined the group. Sam Bentley, Powys and Rasmussen were each playing in separate bands when the group decided to play together. Sam Bentley knew Rasmussen because they had worked together in a warehouse after high school. Josh Bentley (Sam Bentley's cousin) was asked to join, as Sam knew and liked Josh's drumming style. Powys was added to the band because Sam Bentley and Lacy were fans of his other band and knew he was a solid guitarist and singer. David initially agreed to play the gig so long as it did not interfere with his other band at the time. After the success of their first show together, they decided to continue.
The now five members of The Paper Kites did not intend to start a new band, but rather followed the natural progression of things as their music became more popular, gaining increasing attention from the media. In an interview, in jest, band member Sam Rasmussen asks Josh Bentley what the band's patronus would be, and Bentley replied that their patronus would "definitely be a stag!"
The band's first demo recordings were done mostly by Sam Bentley at his home and by Rasmussen at his university. At the request of their friends, they put together and released homemade EPs to sell at their shows in Melbourne.
It was not until they recorded and released their single Bloom in 2010 that they began attracting media attention. The single and video were released online and became popular in the realm of social media. Bentley mentioned, "It was a pretty steady progression of word of mouth, friends telling their friends and so on. It wasn't any sort of viral thing, it was a really natural build up of people sharing our music". Word spread quickly, and live appearances became increasingly well attended. Bloom was released by the band, similarly to the first recordings, only available as a hand-made EP with a handful of other tracks. Only about 500 Bloom EPs were made by the band due to the tedious nature of the band burning all the CDs and making the covers. With these home-job EPs, they played several shows in Australia and New Zealand, including their first opening slots for bands Hungry Kids of Hungary and Passenger (singer).
The Paper Kites went on to begin writing and recording what would be their first EP, Woodland. They recorded the EP early in 2011 with Tim Johnston, who was one of Rasmussen's university teachers. Their first official single, "Featherstone", was released in June 2011 in advance of the EP. The new single was again well received by audiences, especially online. Following the single release, the band also released their second video, for "Featherstone". Already having a passion for film, Bentley said, "We always like to get ready involved in the videos we make and the people we work with. Our music videos are just further extensions of the song itself, and we always want them to be interesting and engaging. We work pretty closely with our directors". Sam Bentley commented that he felt very lucky for the amount of success Bloom and "Featherstone" gained online. That August, their EP, Woodland, was released.
After the release, the band was picked up by booking agent Stephen Wade (founder of Select Music), who was impressed when they sold out The Corner Hotel, an iconic Melbourne venue, by themselves. Wade introduced the band to managers Gregg Donovan and Stuart MacQueen, who, after seeing the band perform, signed them to Wonderlick Entertainment. Soon after, the band was invited to tour with Josh Pyke on his Only Sparrows national tour in September 2011. In November of that year, The Paper Kites opened on Boy & Bear's 16-date national tour of Moonfire.
In February 2012, the band went on their first headline tour of Australia, playing sold-out shows in small clubs around the country. With the success of Woodland, the band began getting requests for their music on various US television shows, including "Featherstone" being featured in the season 8 finale of Grey's Anatomy.
Young North (2012):
In April 2012, the band had over 30 unrecorded demos and were ready to start recording a full-length record. However, they decided to hold off making a full-length album and release a second EP instead, feeling that more touring and building on their sound would be beneficial before releasing their debut record. They decided to work with engineer and producer Wayne Connolly, and recorded the five-track EP through June 2012. It was the band's first time working with a producer. Bentley recalled, "Working with Wayne (Connolly) was very different to how we imagined working with a producer would be. He was very patient while at the same time pushed the best performance out of us. He really got inside the songs and knew how to push our sonic ideas". The title of the EP, Young North, came from the titles of two songs that did not make the cut.
The first single, "A Maker Of My Time", was released in July and was quickly picked up by Australian alternative station Triple J. The band also released one of their more unusual music videos online for the track, featuring a hitchhiker doing an improvised one-take dance. The band picked the actor, who was unaware he would be the only person in the video. They mentioned, "It was important that he didn't have much dance background, we wanted it to be as raw as possible. He was fantastic".
With the release of the EP in August 2012, The Paper Kites embarked on a 13-date Young North tour of Australia in October. They found that along with progressing their sound and live performance they were attracting bigger crowds and selling out larger rooms.
Following the tour, the band did a small run of shows opening for UK band Bombay Bicycle Club in January 2013.
The Paper Kites have again been working with producer Wayne Connolly to record their debut album which was released August 30, 2013. The album has been cut down from over 40 demos and was recorded at the famous Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne, and Alberts Studios in Sydney.
On June 13, 2013, The Paper Kites announced a national tour, taking their forthcoming debut album, States, around the country.
On the June 21, 2013, they released the first single "St Clarity" from the forthcoming record. The band also released the music video directed by Natasha Pincus and featuring French artist Sylvain Letuvée.
States was released both online through JB Hi-Fi and iTunes.
The Paper Kites' sound was originally loosely based around folk music. Sam Bentley's fingerstyle guitar sound is a frequent characteristic, along with Lacy's and his voices together, and the band's harmonies. The progression of this sound, along with the band's many musical inspirations, has pushed them into a range of different genres. When asked about their style of music, Bentley has mentioned, "We are whatever we released on the last record". The band are known for switching instruments live and for their ethereal, moody sound. In another interview, Josh Bentley said on the progression of their genre of music, "Sam went away for three weeks by himself to mull over a lot of songs and write some stuff. It wasn't a conscious decision to change genres or change the way The Paper Kites play or the way we sound. It was just a natural progression. It felt natural for us. It may not feel natural for others, but for us, we've been playing the songs for a while now."
Sam Bentley: vocal, guitars, keyboards (2009-present),
Christina Lacy: vocal, guitars, keyboards (2009-present),
David Powys: vocal, guitars, banjo, lap steel (2010-present),
Josh Bentley: drums, percussion (2010-present),
Sam Rasmussen: bass, synth (2010-present)