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Audio CD, April 28, 2009
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Product Description

Already hailed as one of Paste's ''Four To Watch,'' Paper Route has earned acclaim for their ingenious Electronica-based Rock and intensely intimate lyricism. The Nashville-based band's 2009 debut album, Absence, is an ambitious and impassioned collection of widescreen modern music, rich with shimmering textures and intricately crafted sonics. Album features the stand out 'Carousel' that was chosen to be a full two minute music bed for MTV's The City trailer.

About the Artist

Already hailed as one of Paste's "4 To Watch," Paper Route has earned acclaim for their ingenious electronica-based rock and intensely intimate lyricism. The Nashville-based band's Universal Motown debut, "ABSENCE," is an ambitious and impassioned collection of widescreen modern music, rich with shimmering textures and intricately crafted sonics. Songs like "Carousel" and the elegiac "Are We All Forgotten" are haunting and emotional, alighting upon such common themes as love and loss, rebirth and redemption. Throughout the album, Paper Route express resilience in the face of adversity, ultimately achieving transcendence though honesty and a sense of real circumstance. The work of a rare band that's not afraid to wear their hearts on their sleeves, "ABSENCE" is both acutely personal and altogether universal. "We're very sentimental, emotional, hopelessly romantic guys," says JT Daly (vocals, keyboards, samples), "and that's not cool. But we've found that when you are just brutally honest, people connect with that. A lot of things that people are running away from, we've always found ourselves gravitating towards." "The most honest and real songs come from times that aren't necessarily the best," says Chad Howat (programming, piano, keyboards, bass). "So over the course of making this record, we've gone through failed relationships, sicknesses and deaths among our friends and families. But that's life, and hopefully it will resonate with other people." The founding members of the band hail from churchgoing families in the American Heartland. Daly and Andy Smith (vocals, guitars, harmonica) met through a family connection and began writing songs together. They converged with Howat in college and formed their first band. The band relocated to Nashville after a year, but soon called it a day. "The band never quite got off the ground," says Smith. "But we felt there was a chemistry between us that we'd later find hadn't fully been realized." The three musicians went their separate ways, but maintained their tight knit friendship. Smith pursued a career in social work, while Daly continued to explore visual arts and film. For his part, Howat bought a laptop and taught himself to record and program. Plagued by insomnia, he worked long into the night, creating experimental music inspired by such artists as Air and Boards of Canada. "Chad started coming up with really interesting stuff," says Smith, "this smart, emotional, electronic pop music. The more that he got into it, the more it felt like a new direction. It was as accessible as possible, yet still flooded with as much integrity as we could muster. It just seemed like an exciting thing." "It all came together as soon as I started writing songs on the computer," Howat says. "It felt like I had finally found my voice." He soon invited Smith and Daly to contribute vocals to the recordings and the trio of friends found themselves abuzz with creative energy. "We all kind of got the bug again once we got going," says Howat. "This is our drug," Daly says. "We can't quit coming back to this. We always just circle back to making music." By mid-2006, they decided to grow their project - now dubbed Paper Route, conjuring up innocent images of their youth - into something with wider appeal. They released a self-titled EP and began to ponder how to bring their sound to the stage. The problem was resolved with the inclusion of drummer Gavin McDonald. Though Paper Route continued to build music around samplers and other programs, the addition of a live drummer gave the fledging band a richer, more human sound, as did a musical arsenal incorporating glockenspiel, accordion, melodica, piano, and guitars.

"I knew it would take a lot of work to incorporate live drumming into the band's sound," McDonald says. "But after our first few shows, it was obvious that it was going to work and also open up new possibilities creatively."

"The three of us had learned to operate as one," says Howat, "but we knew Gavin would get us out of our comfort zone, add some healthy tension and challenge us to go further, artistically." "It also allowed us to not dive completely into the synthetic element of being an electronic band," adds Smith. "We love using computers as instruments - the options are amazing - but there's something about organic instruments that you can't argue with, that seems timeless." Paper Route's brand of laptop Americana utilizes modern instrumentation to give life to an otherwise classicist tack that inextricably connects the band to its adopted home city's mythic past. Nevertheless, in a town known around the world as Music City USA, Paper Route's synthetic symphonics set them apart. "We're kind of the black sheep here, sonically speaking," Howat says. "But there's something to be said about the allure of Nashville. There are undertones to the whole history of American music in the way we approach songwriting." Having all grown up in the church, a series of recurring lyrical motifs revealed themselves in songs such as "Be Healed" and "Dance On Our Graves." Thoughtful and inquisitive, the songs of "ABSENCE" wrestle with life's myriad miracles and mysteries - Do we need change or do we actually need healing? Will the ghosts of our past stay with us forever? Is God really there? "Whether it's some spiritual void or the loss of a lover or the absence of affection from a wife or a father," Howat adds. "It's a theme that runs through the record - wanting things to be how they were, missing things that just aren't there anymore." When the time came to make its full-length debut, Paper Route opted to forego a proper studio to work in Chad and Gavin's Victorian home in the center of town. The band recorded in Chad's bedroom, spending close to a year tracking much of what would ultimately become "ABSENCE." In September of 2008, Paper Route chose to isolate themselves in order to apply finishing touches to the record. They began looking for the right spot, a house where they could be inspired to fully focus on their vision. "It had to make us feel like the homes we had when we were growing up," Daly says, "like when we all had our paper routes. It had to stir up that sense of wonder." They found the ideal location in Nunnelly, Tennessee, about an hour outside of Nashville. The house - located on 200 sprawling acres - proved the ideal artistic environment, prompting the creation of a number of new songs, including `Lovers' Anthem' and "Wish." After an extended gestation period which saw the band facing struggles with both art and life its ownself, Paper Route is now eager to bring "ABSENCE" to the people, giving their powerful, personal songs the chance to flourish and fulfill their infinite promise. "We're ready to bring these songs to our listeners," Daly says, "to just live them out, to get them out of our system. So much of our life have just been paused in these songs and we really can't move on until we start playing them live. We're all really ready for this."

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 28, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Motown Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,674 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By K. Ilvonen on May 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD
It's tough to not sound like a pretentious music elitist when you are discussing something you feel very passionate about. So if I come across as one right now, I apologize right off the bat. If you can't find something to like in Paper Route, then you don't appreciate good music. It's even tough for me to try and translate my thoughts on this album when I can't even fully comprehend how complex it is.

Paper Route is a four piece band from Nashville Tennessee. The band was formed in 2004 after several other bands had disassembled. As of late the band has been touring with the heavyweights of the music scene today such as Paramore, Jack's Mannequin, and Copeland. Audiences and fans alike have been thoroughly impressed and have had nothing but great things to say about the band, mostly because they have only been touring on a couple EP's and haven't had a lot of material to work with, which brings us to the present place and time, April 28th 2009. Paper Route's debut album Absence is officially available. So how does it stack up? Let's just say that it's one of the best albums of 2009 so far.

Now, when I heard that Paper Route was going on tour with Paramore I gave them a listen and it was impressive. They had well written songs, but nothing really stood out to me, so going into Absence, I had no real basis to go by which made the album so amazing. It's was one of those experiences when you discover a band for the first time and are completely blown away and that overwhelming feeling of joy and adrenaline takes control of you. It is really unexplainable unless you have had it, but that's what music does to people.
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By Claire Broadway on June 8, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I had never heard of Paper Route until randomly catching a show while they were on tour with Young Love. They blew away their headliner and have continued to do so in every subsequent live performance of theirs I've been to. Their energy is incredible and addictive and they believe it or not they sound even better live than on their album. Their drummer is mindblowingly good and you can tell they love every minute of what they do.
Now, in reference to their album, Absence, I will say that it is one of the best albums I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. I'm no music critic so I will simply say that Paper Route's debut album is really, REALLY good music. My personal favorite is Tiger Teeth, although most of my friends cite Gutter as their favorite track. Are We All Forgotten is another stand-out track that has (I'm not afraid to admit) brought me to tears a few times as the lyrics are intense and have a spiritual aspect. The only song I'm not a huge fan of is the opening track, but it has its merits as well.
This is a band that I will be watching and recommending for a very long time to come and I don't doubt that one listen through Absence will make a Paper Route fan out of anyone.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am always looking for new music, which in these days of pop that is made simply to make money, and rap that is simply revolting and has no emotion put into the music, or effort in the lyrics, I am finding it very hard to find music I like. I was drawn to Paper Route when I first heard them on Pandora, and have since purchased two of their albums. J.T Daly's emotionally filled vocals are backed by a great mix of guitar, drums, bass, and electronic sound. The lyrics are mostly about broken relationships, and wondering what things could have been like. etc. They are not singing about something different from the norm, really, but the way they phrase their songs, the lyrics are hauntingly good.

Call me a music snob for hating most of the popular music today, but I simply see myself as a guy who is in search of talent and a good sound. I have found it in Paper Route.

Closing thought: Buy this album.
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By Mike on September 20, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I first saw Paper Route in Lancaster, Pa and I fell in love with them by about the 3rd or 4th song in their set. I bought the album "Peace of the Wild Things" on the spot after listening to the song Rabbit Holes live.

I will say the band does not disappoint. If you are looking for Katy Perry or Lady Gaga, you will be shocked and uplifted by what you hear out of the speakers. This music is passionate, wholesome, and very "real." It has some electronic elements mixed with a lot of great musicianship and creative melodies.

I will say I do like "Peace of the Wild Things" better, but that is perhaps because I am more familiar. I find that music like this must incubate inside of your mind a little while for you to gain a full appreciation of it. It definitely grows on the patient person!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Pampel on May 22, 2009
Format: MP3 Music
I had never heard of this up-and-coming band until I saw Copeland in Milwaukee, and these guys were one of the openers. Their sound is incredibly unique and intriguing, combining beautiful lyrics with well-written melodies and a skillful combination of typical rock instrumentation with synths and computer sounds. I bought their EP at the show and can't get enough of it! I'm excited for this debut full-length and highly recommend this band!
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