Steal This Track: Paper Bird and the Amends - Reverb

Steal This Track: Paper Bird and the Amends

Paper Bird will perform "Carry On" with with Ballet Nouveau Colorado on September 7 at Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Photo by Susan Anderson

Happy Day-After-Labor-Day, thieves. This week, we’ve got two tracks that exemplify how building on the musical labor of others can produce something entirely new. Steal “Storm (Monsoon Remix)” by Paper Bird/Feathericci & Brian Mayhall as well “Heroine” from the Amends, a live mash-up of two classic songs.

Denver indie-folk band Paper Bird has built a national reputation for transcending what one might expect folky-Americana to be. Rather than rest firmly on the foundation of the sound, the band uses it as a launching pad to create fresh sounds full of whimsical rhythms and effortlessly layered harmonies with a backbone of strong songwriting. On Sept. 7 that musical exploration will climb to new heights. Curated by guitarist Paul DeHaven, the band will release “Carry On RMXD: Paper Bird Reimagined.” DeHaven handed off broken down tracks from the group’s acclaimed album “Carry On” to DJs, producers and sound artists in Denver and abroad. The result is an eclectic album with songs spanning the spectrum of electronic music. Here, we offer you “Storm (Monsoon Remix),” an ambient revisioning by Santa Fe’s DJ Feathericci & Brian Mayhall (D Numbers). The original song has been transplanted from the lonesome, windy prairie to a desert moonscape. Rhythm takes center stage as vocal clips become pulses and horns become sirens, but the organic, melodic beauty somehow remains. Paper Bird will once again perform “Carry On” with Ballet Nouveau Colorado on Sept. 7 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Ian Cooke will join them. Tickets starting at $20, available at Ticketmaster. The album will then be available at the Paper Bird’s Bandcamp page for streaming and purchase.

The Amends will be releasing their softmore LP in early September.

The Amends’ brand of guitar-driven indie rock often harkens back to the rock music of yesterday — be it blues-based classic rock or edgier ’90s alternative — so it makes sense that the Boulder-based band stumbled upon a mash-up of the Velvet Underground and David Bowie. While rehearsing songs for the band’s second LP, to be released in early September on Bandcamp, guitarist Drew Weikart started plucking “Heroin” and, soon after, Tyler Taylor came in with “Heroes” on his overdriven guitar. They began performing it live, and they call the double-song “Heroine.” Granted, it’s not like they mashed up two unlikely artists, but the result is still surprising. From the depths of heroin hell emerges the anthemic chorus of “Heroes.” It’s really a manic-depressive rise and fall, but it works seamlessly. Steal the track now. Following the release of the new album, the band plans a Fall tour.

Please note that downloads offered via Steal This Track are intended to whet your appetite, and are NOT CD-quality recordings. If you want those, please support the artists by buying their music and/or seeing them live.

If you’re a band or musician ready to expose your fresh sounds to the readers of Reverb, email your tracks — along with any interesting facts about them, as well as a photo or album art — to Steal This Track for consideration.

Josh Johnson is a Denver freelance writer and a new contributor to Reverb. He is also a co-host/co-producer of the Denver podcast Denver Diatribe. His day job is at Geeks Who Drink. Seriously.

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  • jjjones

    Paper bird is cool, stylish, edgy with a current sound–love them–
    amends singer is awful–sounds bad and has no chrisma. i think they found him straight out of that farm house:(