Welcome, welcome, Detroit Proud Playlist followers. This week, we decided to change things up a bit. We are dedicating our entire playlist…to one band. That’s right – one band and 10 of their greatest songs. This week’s spotlight is on The Paper Sound, a local Americana-influenced indie-rock band. Since their start in 2004 (and after a short stint on hiatus while one of their members was working in China), they’ve released three full-length albums. We’re more than excited to feature them in this week’s special-edition playlist.
And the coolest part? We were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with guitarist Josh Wheeler and vocalist guitarist Phil Kinney – and they’ve hand-picked the 10 best songs from The Paper Sound’s catalog. How lucky are you?! Check out the interview below for the inside scoop on one of Detroit’s most promising bands – and don’t forget to listen to each perfectly-selected song below.
Let’s start things off with who you guys are…tell us!
We are a rag tag bunch of ne’er-do-wells that go by the name “The Paper Sound.” We play a brand of moody, Americana-influenced indie rock that people have told us sounds like a cross between Fugazi, Radiohead, and Neil Young. We have three full-length albums under our belt and are in the process of supporting our newest album, “Trajectories,” which just came out this spring.
Could you talk about what inspires the band?
Every day, there are billions of people making decisions and leaving their mark on the world. Everyone comes with their own experience and perspective. For good or bad, our lives have tangible results. What is inspiring for us is that we can share thoughts and ideas with people in a way that could impact someone’s life through something we all love: music. For all of its naiveté and Pollyanna appearance, overall, we hope to achieve a positive human connection through music.
What type of music do you aim to make? If someone never heard any of your music, how would you describe it to them?
We aim to make music that will connect with the audience in hopefully a visceral, but also emotional way. A lot of the songs are based on personal experiences, but also the stories of others around us, so they’re more than another party anthem or generic rock song; there’s a lot of meaning and thought behind what’s being said.
As far as if someone’s never heard it before, we like to think if you combined The Weakerthans, Pedro The Lion, and Nada Surf, then dialed up the aggression by about 50%, you’d have a good idea of what we’re about.
Can you tell us what you think of the current music scene here in Metro Detroit?
The music scene here is fantastic because of how vibrant and diverse it is, but also how much of a DIY aesthetic so many of the bands adhere to. It’s not as if bands here are sitting around waiting to be discovered; they put so much of themselves into their songs, their recordings, their live shows and finding new and unique ways to get that out to as many people as possible. The bands are so proactive in making things happen, whether it’s putting on festivals, setting up shows, showing their inventive side through self-produced videos or elaborate stage performances; that energy and effort really shines through and makes the scene here one of a kind, and one we’re glad to be a part of. Plus, so much of the music being made here is just flat-out wonderful, which obviously helps.
How has Detroit shaped the music you write and play today?
A lot of what I mentioned above really shapes a lot of who we are and what/how we play. It’s not enough to expect any kind of a following to come to us, or that we can just get up on stage and be noticed without bringing something unique or high quality to the table. We put our all into our live shows, and in working to get exposure for us and our music through any outlet we can grab a hold of.
Tell us about your next upcoming show!
We’re really excited about this Saturday because we’re playing with some of our favorite bands in the area: My Pal Val, Destroy This Place, and Touch the Clouds. The show is at New Dodge Lounge in Hamtramck, doors will be at 9pm and costs just $5 for 21+.
THE PAPER SOUND PLAYLIST
“Culled from our three albums, these ten songs are a good primer of what we’re about and what to expect from us. If you like some of these tracks, then you’re our kind of people. If not… your older brother will probably love it!” – Josh Wheeler
“The Fall” (from: The Paper Sound) Listen here!
“Dirt And Blood” (from: The Paper Sound) Listen here!
“The Heartsick” (from: The Struggle with Light) Listen here!
“Faith And Hope” (from: The Struggle with Light) Listen here!
“Hail To The Victor (from: The Struggle with Light) Listen here!
“Innocent” (from: The Struggle with Light) Listen here!
“Find Your Voice” (from: Trajectories) Listen here!
“Thick And Slow” (from: Trajectories) Listen here!
“Living In Country” (from: Trajectories) Listen here!
“Worn” (from: Trajectories) Listen here!
Plus, don’t miss The Paper Sound this Saturday, at the New Dodge Lounge in Hamtramck. They play with other local bands, My Pal Val, Destroy This Place, and Touch The Clouds. Doors are at 9pm, and the cover is only $5 for 21+. Find more event details here!