Indie-folk-turned-synthwave band The Paper Kites is back with “Deep Burn Blue”, the lead single off their upcoming album, On the Corner Where You Live. Set to be released September 21st, On the Corner Where You Live is the follow-up album to their last, On The Train Ride Home, but seems to more closely associate with 2015 album twelvefour, which saw their first venture away from acoustics and towards a more synth-driven style. It set the bar high for the band’s first synth-heavy album, and we can only imagine that this next one will be a cut above the rest.
According to frontman Sam Bentley, “Deep Burn Blue” is a song about a girl who won’t leave her room, and from the lyrics we can deduce that she is hiding from a deep pain that “time alone” won’t solve. It feels misguided to say this is inspired by the 80’s, or even that it’s reminiscent of a time long past— there’s something different about this. There’s a restlessness to this track, a timelessness almost, like it’s clinging desperately to this time period yet itching to belong somewhere else. It’s a good sort of indecisiveness— if thats even possible— brought on by a deep, vagrant sense of longing that makes you reconsider the moment in which you are. The reverb of the guitars, the soothing vocals, the atmospheric layers that the acoustics pile on, all come together in a loose melody, a haunting orchestral slurry of emotions waiting to be released. It’s a deep melancholy, but at the same time a calming one: it’s haunting, heartbreaking, but promising all at once. It breaks things, summons the deepest emotions, then picks up the pieces and puts them back together again. Even the cover art properly transmits the complexity of the song: the woman is standing by her window, staring out into the city, yet behind her life goes on whether she breaks apart in that room or not. “Deep Burn Blue” is unlike anything we’ve seen from the Paper Kites before twelvefour, and it’s exciting to see them pick back up in this direction after On The Train Ride Home, which saw a brief return to their acoustic beginnings. If this single is at all telling of the new album as a whole, it seems On The Corner Where You Live will revive the buttery synths of twelvefour and forge on.
“Deep Burn Blue” is a welcome addition to The Paper Kites discography— and to your Spotify library. It’s the perfect song to sit by the window and listen to on a rainy night. To drive through the city, blue and red lights splashing off the pavement like watercolor, droplets of light-soaked raindrops bouncing against your face and hair. It’s happy but sad at the same time. It’s the best song the eighties never had.