All good things come in threes. That’s what I was always told by my parents when growing up. Paper Tigers must also live by that mantra with the release of their third single ‘No Ghosts Walk‘. Hot on the heels of their sophomore single ‘Flames’, which was released at the start of the global pandemic, Paper Tigers look to continue their blazing hot form with each release and establish themselves as heavyweights in the rock scene in Northern Ireland.
While their first two singles were head bangers, ‘No Ghosts Walk’ has a different feel to it. That’s not saying the Tigers have lost their bite but that this release shows a fragile side to the band that hasn’t come across before in previous releases. When dealing with the subject of loss and death it is clear the band approached the song with a different mindset, implementing their sound to show the spiralling chaos loss can have on one’s mind as well as going through the rationale of dealing with loss through their lyrics. The chaos ensues with guitarist Michael Smyth’s backing vocals screaming his rage while Hayley takes the listener through the journey of loss and stages of grief.
Recorded in the confines of the Blackstaff buildings at Bear Cat Studios, the group faced a few challenges on the day of recording. Despite missing equipment and an elevator reminiscent of the Tower of Terror, the group were able to lay down their music to great effect. When asked about the recording process Hayley (vocals) recalls how on the day “It was slightly stressful to begin with due to lack of crucial equipment but we got there eventually! I then had to sit around eating sweets and drinking water awaiting the boys to lay down their instruments, it was super interesting to watch it all come together. Once I got on the mic, I was SO in and ready and felt pretty comfortable considering it was my first time recording. Definitely a bonding experience to say the least!”
With this being the third release from the group it was interesting to hear their own views on the track. When asked about the inspiration for the track Michael (guitarist) summed it up perfectly, “The song deals with feeling left behind, despair, how we try and retain the tenuous links to those we lose and cling to their memory, the emptiness and how we try to move on but ultimately no one ever really gets over losing someone close. Musically the song is meant to represent some of the stages of grief, there’s ups and downs, moments of aggression and confusion. I feel the lyrics go through it all, albeit in a very mixed up manner. It’s not a song I take lightly and every time we play it, even in rehearsal it’s cathartic. It helps me deal with some of those incredibly complicated emotions and I can’t help but think of the people close to me who are no longer with us”.
Sonically the band have knocked it out of the park. The crashing drums signal that this is going to be a rollercoaster of a ride. The guitars keep us safely locked in while the lyrics guide us down and down further into the mental psyche of dealing with loss that twist and turn, never slowing down to give the listener a second to gather their thoughts.
When asked about the future of the group all members were happy to comment on the work and effort they are putting into not just growing the band musically but also themselves personally. Hayley said that as a group “we’re pushing forward and adjusting to life’s obstacles. I’m personally pushing myself vocally to stretch my range and ability to perform to my very best and the guys are always there helping me to achieve anything”. Stevey (bass) was very happy to say that he was trying “to push us towards more of a country vibe! Hoping we can rename it to Paper Tractors and really flip the young farmers scene on its head”.
Well whatever direction the band goes in after this release it’s safe to say that we are excited to see what the future holds for them. Whether that be performing rock n roll or supporting Nathan Carter on his next tour.