Ever since forming in 2016, Paper Buoys have had a simple ethos – to make music with an agenda, distilling the vitriol of the everyman. You may have already heard it – it’s there, in spades, on the lacerating punk lashings of ‘Sharp as Razors’ and on the skulking regret of ‘After Dark’, both available on the band’s stellar self-titled debut album, which ultimately won ‘Best Album’ at The Birmingham Music Awards in 2018. It’s been bellowed around some of the UK’s most hallowed venues, trading blows and brilliance with bands such as The Blinders and Otherkin. It’s been in the hearts and minds of every person cheated by the weighty contempt of life, the broken promises, the dusty dreams. In the band’s new single, ‘Chasing Ghosts’, it’s there in an altogether different light.
Listen to ‘Chasing Ghosts’ here:
hProduced by Gavin Monaghan, whose mercurial magic touch has been sprinkled on the likes of Editors, The Sherlocks, The Blinders and The Twang (among many others), ‘Chasing Ghosts’ keeps Paper Buoys’ big-hearted sentiments but pushes their sound somewhere new. The rage remains, but the way it’s conveyed has evolved and matured, moving away from acerbic fuzz and into rich melodic territory.
Singer and guitarist Chris Newey has never sounded finer, his bittersweet burr both bruised and broken. The sense of long-dashed adolescence is palpable, rising over Stuart Lidgbird’s signature guitar sound – think the chorus-drenched ruminations of The Cure, New Order and The Smiths – and brought back down to earth by Jon Perks’ nimble bass work and the propulsive drums of Nick Wynne. The first taster from their upcoming second album, expect ‘Chasing Ghosts’ to be the most sobering and stellar song you hear on the band’s upcoming May tour.
“It’s about the freedom and innocence of childhood that we lose in adult life,” says Newey. Even with a change of direction, Paper Buoys are still singing the big themes. Long may they resonate.
17/5 – Birmingham, The Flapper
18/5 – Manchester, The Bread Shed
25/5 – Stoke-on-Trent – Your City Festival
27/7 – Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham – Tunns Fest
24/8 – Dovedale, Derbyshire – Reg Fest