Paperwork's honest songwriting, catchy melodies and detailed arrangements have garnered them not only positive reviews but a strong following. Bolstered by word of mouth and support of music sites like have helped Paperwork expand well beyond their home state of Texas.


Every morning, the members of Paperwork wake up, pull on some business casual, get in their cars and fight Austin, Texas traffic on their way to jobs that serve to guarantee they can continue making records. The records are released on Star Dot Star Records, a label co-founded by singer/guitarists Ross Ingram and Jarrod MacKay, and recorded at Shh! Recording, Ingram’s studio. Like so many others, the band spends forty-plus hours a week pushing paper in hopes that they can spare a few savored hours doing what they truly love. They spend their breaks and lunch hours organizing shows and promoting their albums. They horde their vacation and sick time to put together whirlwind tours. This struggle to balance one’s passions with one’s checkbook is the central theme to their debut full-length Parts and Labor.

Paperwork formed in 2004 when longtime friends MacKay and Ingram decided to write the album they’d always wanted to record, despite not having a band. The latter problem was solved when they recruited friend Steve Spriggs to play drums and found bass player Lucy Jordan through the Austin Chronicle. The sound produced by the group, with a focus on vocal interplay and combining electric and acoustic instrumentation, became what some have described as equal parts Death Cab for Cutie and Simon and Garfunkel. While building what was to become Parts and Labor, they released the EP Angles and Altitudes in 2005, a record separated thematically from Parts and Labor, but united sonically. In fact, when played in succession, the two albums blend into one via a shared outro/intro.

With their new record complete, Paperwork continues touring throughout Texas and the Southwest.


Angles and Altitudes

Written By: Paperwork

Wake wake wake me up with
the sounds of grief and measured breath
And news that i feared i’d soon hear:
an end to all your silent years.

Still still still mornings we’d walk
through early morning texas fog
Towards holes that you taught me to fill
stone by stone, by force of will.

Twist twist twist the ropes and
I’ll try so hard to understand,
To decode the loops and knots and
to learn the movements of your hands.

Sound sound sound it out and
trace words with hands that tremble and
Hands that once had such strength as
I fear that I may never have.

Sometimes the world can just collapse.
We'll have to redraw all our maps.
These roads you built have carried me
Through ever crumbling scenery.

(Longitudes and latitudes, angles and our altitudes, all our depths and distances have all been laid to rest.)

Your Old Coat

Written By: Paperwork

It's winter now; I’m wearing your old coat
as I stumble down the street to another show.
The thoughts I have are now my thoughts alone
and when the band wraps up tonight, I'll just walk home.
There will be people there that I recognize.
There will be no flash of recognition in their eyes.
Though you know I hate to see you leave,
sometimes that’s just the way things have to be.

Such big plans we had.

This is all that I have left:
your old clothes and your old desk,
some books and records that you left behind with me.
So I'll read your books and wear your clothes and though the air is getting cold,
I feel just fine in your old coat.

It's summer now and they won’t let you leave
and they’re cutting up your letters before you can even read.
I keep thinking of that phone call and of the cracking in your voice,
when you gave the kind of news that just destroys.
This house is far too cold to be a home,
and there’s a certain kind of silence that these walls have never known.
It’s been months now since we had a chance to speak.
Sometimes that’s just the way things have to be.

Such big plans we had.

This is all that I have left:
a box of letters that you sent,
a written record of the places you have been,
Explanations i don’t need. Despite the way that it might seem,
I won’t ever let you leave.

Fell asleep to the train tracks clacking,
the comfort of our parents laughing.
Woke up on the floor an only child,
if only for awhile.
While I slept you both were dying.
Now I sit and rub my eyes and
wonder where I am and where you’ve gone.

When winter comes again, you’re coming home
and when you get back, we’re going to a show.

War of 1812

Written By: Paperwork

And then there’s the time when
I kicked your door in.
Overreaction was always my forte.
Our efforts were childlike.
There was too much too hide.
The truth came out and
there was nothing we could say.

This is the history that’s flowing through our veins.
It made me who i am and i hope you feel the same.

And then there’s the time when
you nearly burned me with your cigarette
and i called you out on your attempt to be low-key.
It was out in the open and no words were spoken
from me to you for you to feel that you could be who you wanted to be.

And all of this talk about water being thinner than blood
gives strength to the story and helps to explain away all the pain that we caused.
When we look at the past we can’t help but ask why
we never knew what was enough.
and the time spent together now is so different than it was.

Buried in Layers

Written By: Paperwork

The streets have the same names, the only thing that hasn’t changed
(I could get lost just standing still)
Buildings are missing, the landscape has been rearranged
(They’re building houses out of hills)
All of this time erasing history and no one here seems to mind
When all of this crumbles, pave it over, build new streets down compass lines

What once was ours
Buried in layers and wasted time
What once was known
Now seems uncertain and less defined

For years we dragged stones piling them higher
(We’d hoped they would be standing still)
Others have added, continued the building
(Towers so high they hide the hills)
And under the stories is the foundation that we placed here years before
But they’re never satisfied they keep building, adding halls and rooms and floors

What once was ours
Buried in layers and wasted time
What once was known
Now seems uncertain and less defined

Part and Parcel

Written By: Paperwork

They don’t see him working through the night
They only see the dark circles under his eyes
They don’t see the ways these things begin
They only see all the things that he should have been
With everything that he’s been given

“It’s not that we don’t see
It’s not that we don’t know
The strength of your conviction.
It’s just not that likely
And you just can’t see that
In your position.”

He says he won’t let them change his mind
But he won’t leave until they look him in the eyes and say
“We know that you have to go.”

“It’s not that we don’t see
It’s not that we don’t know
The strength of your conviction.
It’s just not that likely
And you just can’t see that
In your position.”

“You will grow tired”
I will but I won’t give in
“You will fall asleep”
I will but I won’t give in
“You will falter, you will sway”
I will but I won’t give in
“You will die”
I will but so will you someday

If this is a part, just a part of it all, then it’s alright


Parts and Labor LP - available Nov 6, 2007 on Star Dot Star Records

Angles and Altitudes EP - released Apr 17, 2006 on Star Dot Star Records

Set List

Typical sets range from 45-55 minutes, but we can play up to 2+ hours.
Original Songs:

Angles and Altitudes
20 Years
Your Old Coat
War of 1812
...And the Children Shall Lead
Accounts Receivable
Part and Parcel
Remote Control
Company Man
Our Scars
Buried in Layers
The Sounds That Made Us...
Bus Stop

Covers include:
Postal Service - Such Great Heights
Radiohead - Climbing up the Walls
Citizen Cope - Bullet and a Target
Led Zeppelin - Communication Breakdown
Led Zeppelin - What is and What Should Never Be
ENIAC - Skeleton Crew
The Cure - In Between Days