Artist: Paper Lions
Album: Full Colour
Reviewer: Briana McDonald
For fans of: The 1975, Young the Giant, BØRNS
Paper Lions is a four-piece band hailing from PEI, Canada. They’ve done extraordinary things in their career, from representing Canada at the World Expo in China to winning an Independent Music Award. Paper Lions recently released their LP, Full Colour, as their fifth work, their chosen recording process for this record being completely novel to them. The first time I listened to Full Colour, my feet kept tapping of their own accord. Much of the album reminds me of retro pop, mixed with modern and lively rock where the guitar riffs meet the groovy keyboard trills.
The first track, “Don’t Wanna Dance” immediately made me, well, wanna dance. Each song on the album is anything but predictable, as the band is able to take things like chord progressions that feel familiar to the listener and turn them on their ear to create something new. The sound of Full Colour is overall very indie pop, but somehow feels iconic, as if Paper Lions collectively has an old soul. Listeners effortlessly relate to messages of love, interest, and heartbreak while the band’s two singers, John and Rob MacPhee, find themselves a comfortable, lively niche to sit in during each song.
I eventually found a favorite on Full Colour, which was practically impossible because all of the songs were so captivating. It happens to be track two, titled “My Number.” I could practically feel myself standing in an eighties high school prom as this track played. It starts off slow, then seems to drop a façade and escalates into a track with heavy riffs and a synth-filled bridge. If I had to pick a second favorite, it would probably be the following song, “End of July,” which feels like standing in the rain watching a lover drive away – and includes a saxophone solo in the bridge.
Overall, Full Colour is a modern indie pop success with a rockin’ retro feel. For Paper Lions to have tried a new way of recording, choosing to go straight to the studio with these songs rather than take them on the road first, shows their versatility as artists and their ability to create dynamic music no matter the method. You can stream Full Colour on Spotify, or buy the album now on iTunes.