It’s home to some lovely sounds and nice sequences, however I would have liked to hear something a little more ‘ear prickling’.

After two solid EPs, The Paper Kites have just dropped their debut album; a sedated, soft-rock synergy going by the name of States. It’s what I would like to call a ‘placid flaccid’ – easy and pleasant to listen to, but never really amounting to much, leaving you high and dry.

The group’s encompassing sound is calm, steady and pleasant. The first four tracks on the album, including first single ‘St. Clarity’, are soft and melancholy – sleep provoking like a valium, and feathered with simple acoustic guitars, echoey vocals, picked banjos, brushed snares and elongated synths. It’s almost as if they’re building up to something, when…

Track five, ‘Young’, and track six, ‘A Lesson From Mr. Gray’, introduce a more upbeat tone through the recipe of electric guitar, an open hi-hat and thicker production. However, the blip of cheer dies at track seven, ‘Tin Lover’, as the mood drops off to the same sleepy and mellow timbre dusted with distant female vocals; only to be saved briefly by track ten, ‘In Reverie’.

I’m sad to say there wasn’t much that sparked my curiosity within this album. It’s slow, mellow and soft, yet hard to get excited about.

2.5/5 stars


States is out now through Wonderlick Recording Company

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