Paper Lions are an indie rock band from Belfast, PEI whose music shines with sunny melodies and tales of lost youth. Equally influenced by the clear-voiced harmonies of the Beach Boys and the clanging guitars of modern rock, at the heart of the band are long-standing friendships and vibrant pop songs taken from the sandy shores of their remote island province.
Formed from a creative partnership that began in their adolescence, the band only truly found its shape in 2007. Brothers Rob and John MacPhee knew Colin Buchanan as their childhood neighbor and David MacDonald they met in high school, but it took time and effort, working in venues and clubs across North America to become the band they are now.
Paper Lions have released three collections of songs over the past 5 years; the most recent being At Long Creek, which features acoustic versions of songs on their upcoming unreleased album.
The past year has seen the band embraced by a new and growing fan base. The music video for 'Travelling', originally released in 2007, has gone viral over the past months, rapidly rising to 3,000,000 views on Youtube and bringing with it an incoming tide of new fans.
To this new following the band decided to offer something in return, and started giving away their EP Trophies in exchange for an email address. Mere hours after posting the letter of explanation to their fans, it hit the front page of Reddit.com. Over the next day, the band's website collapsed under the weight of over 130,000 hits, and since, the EP has been downloaded more than 25,000 times. So it has been a very hectic, strange and exciting year. One that was capped off by the recording of their debut full length album, with producer Howard Redekopp (Tegan and Sara, The New Pornographers, Mother Mother) during a Vancouver April. Slated for release in 2013, these 10 songs are a Polaroid of Prince Edward Island twenty-some years ago. Stories of love and pain, childish fights, best friends, beaches and forts; they evoke the melancholia of youth, remembered by someone not very far from it.
Paper Lions has received 16 ECMA nominations and one win, over twenty PEIMA nominations and four wins, the Touring Artist of the Year award from CAPACOA, a Verge Music Award nomination, and a CBC Radio 3 'Bucky' award nomination.. They've shared the stage with such varied acts as CAKE, Tokyo Police Club, Hollerado, The Rheostatics, No Joy, Hot Hot Heat and Electric Six. They've had their songs featured on ABC and NBC, MuchMusic, MTV and AUX.
In June 2012 Paper Lions released At Long Creek as a free download for their fans, it is now a defining work setting the stage for the next chapter in this young band’s storied history.
John MacPhee - Pianist, Vocalist and Guitarist
Rob MacPhee - Bassist and Backup Vocals
Colin Buchanan - Lead Guitarist and Backup Vocals
David MacDonald - Drummer and Backup Vocals
At Long Creek EP (2012) - Digital EP being released for free (June 16, 2012). Downloaded over 7,500 times in its first month of release. At Long Creek EP streaming was most popular story on Exclaim.ca for the month of May.
Travelling (2007) Video/Lead Single - Over 2 Million views since December 2011, and continues to climb. Earned heavy rotation on Much MegaHits and regular rotation on MuchMusic.
Lost the War (2010) Video/Lead Single - earned regular play on Much Music's The Wedge and The Ledge, and entered into the AUX TV charts at number three.
Trophies (2010) Album - Downloaded over 20,000 times since its release. Nominated for a Verge Music Award for Album of the Year, nominated for 5 PEI Music Awards, winner of Entertainer of the Year, nominated for 5 East Coast Music Awards.
I'm On Fire (2007) - Third most played song of 2010 on XM Satellite Radio's The Verge.
Paper Lions (2007) Album - 2007 Grammy Award Winning producers GoodandEvil.
Lost The War
Don't Touch That Dial
Stay Here For A While
Sweat It Out
Band breaks 1M views with years-old music video
[+ Show ]
A music video by a P.E.I. band passed one million views, suddenly exploding in popularity after year...A music video by a P.E.I. band passed one million views, suddenly exploding in popularity after years of moderate success on YouTube.
Paper Lions released the Travelling video in February 2007, and in four years it had 50,000 views.
"And then it started jumping by 5,000 a day and then it started jumping by 10,000 a day," said drummer David Cyrus MacDonald. "We're getting views in Kuwait, we're getting views in Darfour. We're getting views in Germany, Australia, all over the place … When you start thinking about your music touching that amount of people on a regular basis, it kind of makes my jaw drop a little bit."
There are few Canadian artists who have hit the million-view plateau with a music video. Well-known groups such as Great Big Sea, Sam Roberts and The Tragically Hip have not managed it.
"[It's] pretty incredible. I mean, that's such a massive amount of views," said singer John MacPhee. "As far as how the video broke, we still don't really know."
Starts on CBC Radio 3
CBC News asked web developer Dave Cormier to try to solve that mystery. Cormier said it appears to have started with a well-placed spot on CBC Radio 3 in October, followed by the free online release of Paper Lions latest album in December. A few Facebook shares and YouTube
recommendations later the video was on its way to online stardom.
At its root however, said Cormier, the success had nothing to do with any of that.
"The biggest point of this is that the band's really good," said Cormier.
"The music's really great, so everyone who came really liked it and really told all their friends."
The popularity of the video has prompted companies to pay to link their ads to the band, adding to the Paper Lions' bottom line. It's also led to enquiries about the band touring internationally.
"We also have been getting offers to tour Australia and Germany," said MacDonald. "This is just something that gives those people more confidence to want to make those offers."
The band plans to celebrate with what they're calling a Million Views Party at Hunters in Charlottetown Saturday night. After that will come the more difficult task of replicating the success of Travelling with their new songs.
Paper Lions Give Away Record for Free After Not Getting Paid by Label
[+ Show ]
These are tough times for bands and record labels alike, and you don't need some industry expert to ...These are tough times for bands and record labels alike, and you don't need some industry expert to tell you that album sales aren't nearly as profitable as they once were. Despite the decline, Prince Edward Island pop rockers Paper Lions are evidently a little baffled that they haven't received any money from their label for their 2010 EP Trophies.
The album was released through MB3 Records (the record label division of the management/publicity company the MuseBox) and distributed through EMI.
In a post on Paper Lions'official website, they write, "We have yet to see a paycheque for a single record sold by them. If you bought our record on Amazon or iTunes, or even at a record store, we didn't get that money. We don't know why. We don't know if it's being held somewhere, or if it's been spent.
"We asked ourselves, what do we do now? Hire a lawyer? That would cost a lot of money and take a lot of time. Ultimately, we just want people to hear the music. And in reality, this experience has given us an excuse to do something we've wanted to do for a long time."
"So we've decided to give Trophies away in exchange for your email address. And we feel pretty good about it."
So yes, the band have opted to give the record away for free, since they own the masters. You can download it from the widget embedded below.
Confusingly, the Paper Lions' original post didn't single out the label by name, and our original review of the album listed the label as Common Law Records. In a post on Reddit, the band clarified that Common Law Records was simply a bank account created for tax purposes (to keep performance income and record sales separate), and that that the label was indeed MB3.
However, this story has a happy ending, since Paper Lions revealed that the MuseBox has now contacted them and that the band will get any money that they're owed. The confusion reportedly stemmed from staff changeover and the closure of the label's Canadian offices.
Paper Lions' upcoming tour schedule is below, and the Trophies
download is at the bottom of the page.
NXNE 2012: Paper Lions @ The El Mocambo
[+ Show ]
FRIDAY - The Little Red Umbrella is pretty obsessed with Paper Lions. They're one of the very first ...FRIDAY - The Little Red Umbrella is pretty obsessed with Paper Lions. They're one of the very first names we search for in any festival program — and they were first band mentioned in our emails to each other when their name popped up on the schedule for NXNE 2012. Whether the catchy PEI indie rockers are live in Bellwoods, or just near there, or in a sweaty club, Paper Lions have a subtle intensity and charismatic presence.
So, naturally we couldn’t miss them playing the Young Lions Music Club showcase at the El Mocambo. And with an energetic midnight set, they showed us once again they're one of our favourite acts to see live.
The Beat Goes On
[+ Show ]
Good things continue to happen for Paper Lions. The Charlottetown-based indie band, consisting of...Good things continue to happen for Paper Lions.
The Charlottetown-based indie band, consisting of frontman/guitarist John MacPhee, drummer David Cyrus MacDonald, guitarist Colin Buchanan and bass guitarist Rob MacPhee, emerged from the recording studio this past Sunday after a month-long session with legendary producer Howard Redekopp. They were in Vancouver to lay down tracks for their newest album, which will be released in the fall.
"Working with Howard has been a really cool experience. We knew that he was good, but after working with him directly on this project, we've gotten to see that he's a great producer, a great guy with a great sense of what's going to work best for us as a band," says John MacPhee, during a recent telephone interview.
With the recording finished, they headed back east to attend the 2012 ECMAs in Moncton, where they have been nominated for three awards (entertainer of the year, song of the year and songwriter of the year).
"It's the second straight year we have had three ECMA nominations," says John, adding that the nods and the band's upcoming CD are an investment in its future.
But what's different about the new album is how it's funded. When band members started the project, they realized they weren't going to have the full amount of money needed to record the record properly.
"For the past year we've been planning on it, raising the money - $20,000 independently. But we knew we needed the extra $10,000 to finish it off," says John.
Not knowing what to do, they put their heads together to think how they could raise the last bit of the money.
"We decided to turn to crowd funding, which other bands we know have been doing lately and getting good responses. So we ended up going with Indigogo," says MacPhee, who's asking Prince Edward Islanders who are interested to support the project by making a contribution on the fundraising website. (www.indiegogo.com).
As of press time, $5,645 had been raised.
"A great amount of support has come in for us. It's been really encouraging, especially when we were in British Columbia doing the recording and seeing the contributions coming in," says MacPhee.
The cool thing about the campaign is that people will get something for their contribution.
"For instance, for a $5 contribution you'll get an advance copy of the record. For a donation of $75, you'll get a B-side package, all the basement demos and recordings, plus a limited edition T-shirt as well as an advanced copy of the signed record," he says.
Anyone who would like more details can check out the website, http://paperlions.com.
It's the latest project for the band that has a history of rising above its circumstances. Over a year ago the band signed up with a publicity company to release its last album together. However, 18 months later, the band hadn't seen any money from the sale of Trophies. After considering different options, the band members realized what they really just wanted to do was get the music out.
"So it seemed like a great opportunity to give the record away for free," says John.
About a month ago, band members wrote a letter to their fans who had already purchased the record, explaining the situation and put it on the website. Somehow the story ended up on the front page of Reddit, the popular user-generated website. The response was incredible.
"Our website crashed after getting 130,000 hits in a day and a half. And Trophies was downloaded over 12,000 times in about two days," says MacPhee.
It was more then he could ever have hoped for.
"It was a great thing for the band and it absolutely got the music out there."
Paper Lions 'At Long Creek' (EP stream)
[+ Show ]
Hailing from PEI, indie popsters (and semi-professional oyster shuckers) Paper Lions are returning w...Hailing from PEI, indie popsters (and semi-professional oyster shuckers) Paper Lions are returning with a new acoustic EP titled At Long Creek, which you can stream right now at Exclaim.ca.
The six-song collection of tunes features four new tracks, as well as reinterpretations of a pair of previously released Paper Lions songs. It will be officially released on June 16 as a free download on the band's website and coincides with an acoustic set at the upcoming NXNE in Toronto.
The collection of folk pop tunes also precedes the band's forthcoming as-yet-untitled debut LP, which is slated to arrive in September.
While we await more details for Paper Lions' debut album, check out their upcoming tour dates below and take a listen to their brand new acoustic EP At Long Creek at the bottom of the page.
Song of the Day: Sandcastles by Paper Lions
[+ Show ]
Welcome to Day 3 of our Green Couch Sessions series. In case you missed our introduction to them on ...Welcome to Day 3 of our Green Couch Sessions series. In case you missed our introduction to them on Monday, GCS are video productions of one song played acoustically by a band from Vancouver or touring
though. They are produced by music nerds like ourselves, and friends of ours, who just want to make these tiny documentary-esque clips to contribute to the Vancouver music scene, and they are awesome!
Today I present to you: Paper Lions, from Charlottetown, PEI. We had the chance to meet them on their Oyster Shucking Tour in the fall, and they have a beautiful song Sandcastles that I’m so glad got recorded in the beautiful and historic Waterfront Station building.
Paper Lions typically performs up to one and a half hours of original material including:
Lost the War
Sweat It Out
Don't Touch That Dial
Stay Here for a While
Bodies in the Winter
I'm on Fire
PDF RiderPaper Lions Stage Plot
|Jun 11, 2013 Tuesday||9:00 PM||Big Easy Lounge @ The Charles Inn||Bangor, ME, US|
|Jun 12, 2013 Wednesday||10:15 PM||BAR||New Haven, CT, US|
|Jun 13, 2013 Thursday||10:00 PM||Rockwood Music Hall||New York, NY, US|
|Jun 14, 2013 Friday||8:30 PM||The Sanctuary Centre for the Arts||Ridgeway, ON, CA|
|Jun 15, 2013 Saturday||10:00 PM||Danforth Music Hall||Toronto, ON, CA|
|Jun 16, 2013 Sunday||TBA||The Hoosier Dome||Indianapolis, IN, US|
|Jun 18, 2013 Tuesday||7:30 PM||North Star Bar||Philadelphia, PA, US|
|Jun 19, 2013 Wednesday||8:30 PM||The Middle East (Upstairs)||Cambridge, MA, US|
|Jun 20, 2013 Thursday||10:00 PM||Rockwood Music Hall||New York, NY, US|
|Jun 22, 2013 Saturday||5:00 PM||The Wild Animal Sanctuary||Keenesburg, CO, US|