I've Never Known JOY Quite Like This
I’ll admit, it’s not exactly been awhile since I’ve been truly excited about a new (or new-to-me) musician. Just the other week I was describing to you my Al Lewis obsession, this week it's been with the brothers Hudson Taylor. I tend to stick to what I like, spinning a fresh album here and there, and even then, it takes a lot to blow me away. What can I say? My taste can be incredibly specific. That all changed the second I pressed ‘play’ on Paper Aeroplanes album, JOY.
I knew I was going to love it. They are, by far, one of my favourite musicians, but even I didn't expect it to be as breathtakingly beautiful as it is. Sarah Howells is one of those women with seemingly endless talent… she has a captivating voice, in its strength and passion combined with its soft, sweet moments, makes it practically iconic. It’s unique and interesting, and it makes you want to listen more, and listen carefully so as not to miss any of the lyrics. Now that the weather is finally nicer in Scotland, I’ve found myself going for long walks whenever I have the chance. I put in my headphones and walk slowly, taking in everything around me – the people, nature, and especially the music flowing into my ears.
These two. What words can do these two remarkable musicians justice? Artistic soulmates, a kinship that is everything you would dream of for partners in crime… natural, easy, and incredibly powerful, these two aren’t going anywhere but up, up, up. Their creativity and personalities go beyond just natural talent. Kind, funny, quirky… when I stumbled upon this due from Wales… my life changed. I confess, I've been playing “Books” back to back (and back again). I know I'll end up playing it in the mornings, in the afternoons, in the evenings… pretty sure the entire album has even been added to my shower playlist. How I know I truly love a song? I never ever tire of it. These two have the capacity to charm you in any mood, to calm your senses and make you feel entirely happy and peaceful. Charming, beautiful, humble… do yourself a favour and take 3 minutes out of your day, press play, close your eyes.
Sarah and Richard… thank you.
There is a song on the album, Race You Home, that I love. Have you ever had a time when your ears caught a piece of a song and immediately you’re swept away to an experience in your past? The time, the place, the faces… the sights, the smells, the feeling. Music has an incredible power to take us back; to allow our minds to revisit a deep memory that we may not have thought about in quite some time. I’ve always found this to be such a magical thing, but as I've said before this music is the kind that really transports me. JOY is no exception.
It’s still chilly here but I don’t care, my mind has turned fully to spring. And with spring comes a desire to listen to music that is happy, bright, and upbeat. Music to listen to with the windows down, while dancing barefoot, or running through a field of flowers. JOY only came out today and luckily it falls nicely in this category. I loved the last Paper Aeroplanes album and I’m excited that the new one is not a huge step away from the last, but still a marked change. Whereas Little Letters very much sounded (to me at least) like it was meant to be listened to in a dark, quiet, room, JOY is more atmospheric and spacey, as if it’s beckoning you to go outside and explore. And, listening to it makes me want to do just that.
As soon as I plugged in my headphones and pressed play, I fell in love. It’s always difficult to follow up albums as amazing as The Day We Ran Into The Sea. Expectations are high, especially when so much time has gone by. But for Paper Aeroplanes, that time was clearly spent creating a follow-up album that shoes not only how much they’ve grown but that their music is as beautiful as ever. The opening track, “Good Love Lives On” immediately sweeps you up on a magic carpet of sound and carries you on a journey of peaceful, thoughtful introspection with peaceful waves that come in tracks like “Guessing Game” and “Emily.” The album has a maturity to it, where previous albums were a bit more playful. The album’s sombre moments are also some of its most beautiful (listen to the gorgeous “Call Off The Dawn” right now). My favourite track as of now is still “Books", but honestly, all the songs are so beautiful and lovely that I think this is the best album yet, and I am absolutely head over heels in love with it.