‘On the Corner Where You Live’ Impresses

McKenna Zacher, Managing

Australian folk-indie band The Paper Kites, is at it again.

Releasing On the Corner Where You Live Sept. 21, it is evident the band has found its sound. The sequel to a two-part release, On the Corner Where you Live lives up to its predecessor, the hauntingly beautiful album On the Train Ride Home.

While the album was originally set to release in August, it was worth the wait. The first album in the release was strongly acoustic, personal and quaint.  On the Corner Where You Live is much more upbeat, most of the tracks having notes of pop or jazz influences.

Opening with “A Gathering on 57th,” the album begins with a jazzy instrumental. In the background, you can hear the noises of the city, as well as of a subway car, the same noises that closed out On The Train Ride Home on its title track “On the Train Ride Home.” The song ties together the two releases and gives a hint to what is in store.

The second track “Give Me Fire, Give Me Desire” is a stark difference from “A Gathering on 57th.” The track opens with just the drums for a few beats, then suddenly, a wave of guitars and synth crash and the track really begins. A stand out feature of the song is the harmonies created in the chorus, with lead singers Sam Bentley and Christina Lacy blending their voices together seamlessly. It’s a passionate track and one that defines the album.

While “Mess We Made” is upbeat, the following track “Flashes” slows things down, taking the Paper Kites back to their roots of pure acoustic. I love the simplicity of the song, how it is only guitar and Bentley’s voice. It makes for hauntingly pure emotion and connection to the song. To me, the meaning of asking for “flashes in the night” is asking for a sign or hope. The meaning of this song strongly relates back to the introspectiveness of previous release “On the Train Ride Home,” in which the singer asks for someone he can “hold on to,” in this case maybe being a flash of light.

The title track, “On the Corner Where You Live” is full of constant drum beat and catchy guitar riffs, Bentley’s voice carries this power ballad. The songs build to its bridge, where Bentley reassures the one he is singing to that everything is still the same, and therefore they are safe: “But all this time you’re still the same, on the corner where you live.”

My absolute favorite track on the album has to be “Midtown Waitress,” the album’s eighth song. The song is from the perspective of a girl with “small town dreams” who ends up a waitress just scraping by but finding her identity in the process. It struck a chord in me for some reason – maybe it was the theme of finding oneself in the midst of big dreams or the melancholy instrumental. Either way, this song is beautiful and is a standout in the storytelling on the album.

The final track on the album is titled “Don’t Keep Driving.” The whole song sounds dreamlike, with wind chimes, synth chords and a constant guitar riff. The lyrics speak upon the central idea of the album: who are the strangers we pass on the street, sit next to on the train or see in the windows we drive by? What are their stories? Bentley’s voice sings “Don’t keep on driving, let me say something,” asking to for his story to be heard. The album ends with the repetition of one phrase: “Don’t push me away.” It’s a reflective phrase, one that can invoke a new meaning with every listen.

The Paper Kites’ On the Corner Where You Live is a beautiful, reflective, 11-track album that ties perfectly to the first installment of the two-album release, On the Train Ride Home. I strongly recommend giving the album a listen if you have liked previous work done by the Paper Kites, or if you enjoy listening to music with a story.