Title - 'Paper Castles'
Artist - Alice Phoebe Lou
Alice Phoebe Lou's fiercely independent approach to her art has given her creative confidence that shines through in her jazzy and ethereal indie songs, filled with captivating vocals and stripped back music.
Born in South Africa she developed her eclectic and distinctive sound busking on the streets of Berlin and finally caught the ears of a community of music lovers the world over.
She's earned praise from NPR, Rolling Stone, Blackbook and more, and has been previously nominated for Best Female Artist at the German Critics Choice Awards.
Indeed, back in 2017, a live version of the song, 'She,' was released and racked up five million plays on YouTube and was featured in the film 'Bombshell: The Heady Lamarr Story' (all before the studio version of the single was even released).
The just-released Paper Castles is Alice's second full-length release, following 2016's Orbit although she has also independently released two EPs, Momentum and Sola, as well as several singles.
1. 'Little Spark'
4. 'Paper Castles'
6. 'Something Holy'
7. 'Skin Crawl'
8. 'My Outside'
9. 'New Song'
Produced by Noah Georgeson, Alice herself has explained that Paper Castles is about "... nostalgia, about growing into a woman, about the pain and beauty of the past, about feeling small and insignificant, but finding that to be powerful and beautiful, about acknowledging that childhood is over but bringing some of it with you."
Knowing that going in and the first track, 'Little Spark' seemingly encapsulates all those sentiments perfectly. Hauntingly ethereal, and yet personally vibrant, the song bleeds seamlessly into both 'Nostalgia' and one of my own personal favorites, the free flowing 'Galaxies.'
The title track, 'Paper Castles' turns the beat up somewhat whilst 'Fynbos' uses Alice's bare vocal energy alongside that of acoustic guitar just perfectly.
'Something Holy' is then followed by the early-'90s alternative, Mazzy Star-esque 'Skin Crawl,' with the fun and breezy 'My Outside' along next.
The album then rounds out with the quietly pensive hipsway strains of 'New Song' and then comes to a close with the delicate love song ode, 'Ocean'
Amazon CD Purchase Link