Since the band’s formation in 2007, Paper Bird has been playing its joyful blend of indie folk, roots, and Americana to delighted audiences nationwide. Paper Bird has released two studio albums, Anything Nameless and Joymaking (2007) and When the River took Flight (2010); as well as Carry On (2011), which was the score to a collaboration with Ballet Nouveau Colorado of the same name. Their unique sound is a combination of a dynamic and energetic rhythm section intertwined with effortless and ﬂowing harmonies and the group’s backbone is their songwriting, musicianship and a general allergy to all limitations and trends. With seven members and no designated leader, the possibilities for Paper Bird are constantly unfolding, with ﬂuctuations in style and mood akin to weather patterns. Their rare and beautiful approach to music led them to be featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and were voted in the Top 10 Best Underground Bands by the Denver Post three years in a row, as well as being 5280’s Top of the Town “Top Local Band.” Most recently, Paper Bird was featured in February 2013 in the New York Times in a story about up and coming Denver bands.
Paper Bird’s fourth album, Rooms, pushes musical boundaries even further than anything the group has done. Building on a unique signature sound with dynamic rhythms and effortless, flowing harmonies, Paper Bird wanted to make an album that was coherent and truly represented where they are as a band and as people –so they made a hard left turn by enlisting good friend and accomplished film composer Ryan Fritch, to produce Rooms. “Ryan sees music differently than all of us had before this recording process,” said drummer Mark Anderson. “His input on our music opened our eyes to new ways of writing and experiencing sound, helping to create an atmosphere within the album that did not exist before.”
In addition, Paper Bird wanted to try and capture the same energy as from their live shows, so they made the decision to track live—no easy task with seven members recording in different rooms. At the same time, they added yet another wrinkle. “We incorporated a slew of new instruments, which haven’t appeared in our past albums, and will most definitely affect our live shows,” said Anderson. “Our sound really evolved during this process.”
The title, Rooms, stems from the simple premise that every song is like a different room in a house, each having a different feel and layout, something that is even more literal given that every band member contributes to the songwriting. Banjoist/guitarist Caleb Summeril says that Rooms is like a debut release. “It is our first studio album in over two years and the first with the band as it sounds today, with drums and more of an indie-folk sound than a traditional folk sound,” he said. “I think the songs will really translate well to a wider audience and I think this is our most accessible album thus far.”