Belfast, County Down
Formed in 2018 by Michael Smyth with Hayley Norton on vocals and Stevey Henry on bass. 2019 saw Paper Tigers come out swinging, gigging incessantly and releasing debut single ‘Gucci Smiles’ which earned them a nomination for the NI Music Prize Best Single. This was followed by sophomore single ‘Flames’, released at the very beginning of the global pandemic. The two songs have over 20,000 streams with accompanying videos hitting over 10,000 views. These releases earned them tours with Life and Hundredth, international radio play including attention from iHeart Radio as well as accolades from press with Chordblossom declaring ‘This is rock and roll’.
‘No Ghosts Walk’ opens with a chaotic soundscape, a cacophony of sound that serves as the entry point to the song. Driven by a hypnotic rhythm, lyrically the song deals with grief and loss. Trying to retain what tenuous links we can here amongst the living to our loved ones that have left our mortal coil, as Hayley sings in a pained reprise ‘It burns it stings, to watch you leave, not hold you every day’. The song is written to reflect the stages of grief, with the swathes of pedal sounds at the beginning representative of the confusion upon hearing of loss. Hayley guiding the listener through the void left and yearning felt with Michael’s ripped larynx vocals embodying anger and depression. The song builds to an explosive crescendo, a release of bottled up emotion. This single marks the last of the initial three songs the band recorded. It acts as a bookend to the initial period of Paper Tigers as they prepare to move forward.
Count it off!!
FFO: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Royal Blood, Wolf Alice, Pretty Girls Makes Graves, Paramore, Marmozets