When The Lumineers hit the road last fall, they brought along an opening band called Paper Bird. Both groups had cut their teeth on Denver’s bar circuit, playing weekly shows at the Meadowlark (capacity: 100) and headlining larger venues in town. The Lumineers were first to break out of Denver, but Paper Bird — a seven-piece indie folk band with several vocalists, an arsenal of multi-instrumentalists, and an eclectic approach to roots music — is gearing up a big break of its own in 2013.
Due out later this month, Rooms is a folk album for the 21st century, full of songs that put a modern spin on old traditions. Paper Bird’s vocal harmonies and breezy fretwork take the spotlight on the album’s first single, “As I Am.” Directed by Eric Bakst, the song’s music video finds the band performing beside a handmade structure of branches, string and household materials, which bandmate Paul DeHaven designed.
“In this video,” explains drummer Mark Anderson, “you see the seven members of Paper Bird working together to arrange and construct a large sculpture made with an assortment of materials — yarn, wood, metal, bone, wire, fabric, etc. These sculptures in their completion are the “rooms” where we join to play “As I Am.” The construction of the physical rooms was very similar to the process of writing our album. We all presented different elements and materials in the process of writing and recording, and the album’s sound is entirely the product of our collective contributions. There is no sole writer in Paper Bird; we all write then allow the rest of the members to interpret the songs and contribute to the finished sound. The video really was our way of celebrating this album [by] visually representing what it was like to write and record it.”