“Paper Mache Dream Balloon” Album

The collection of jazzy-psych pop songs with layered instrumentation results in a fun and quirky album

Ok, so, that title may not sound too appealing to the general audience, but that is genuinely the most specific you can get when describing this album. And it is beautiful. 

This album has been, for two and a half years, my most listened to album on spotify, clocking in at over 200 hours of listening time. Yeah… maybe I listen to it too much. This album, clocking in at 33:46 in length, is on the shorter side, which yes I understand that means I’ve listened to it probably over 400 times. If it helps at all, probably at least 70-100 of those hours were spent just listening to the titular track. It probably doesn’t. 

This album was introduced to me by a friend with the hopes that I would maybe like one or two of the songs at best, and it quickly became my favorite album of all time. Just a warning though, they are Aussies though so it can be hard to understand them sometimes. The lyrics, however muddled by generations spent in a prison colony they may be, are powerful and meaningful once uncovered. 

Aside from the lyrics, the music itself is some of the most beautiful instrumentation I have ever had the privilege to exploit my ears to enjoy. That’s a bourgie way of saying I love it. It’s all acoustic with guitar riffs, drumming, piano feeds, harmonica, and flutes to lift you out of funks, and falsetto vocals that melt smoothly into the rest of it. 

Now, I fully recognize that every part of this sounds goofy, and quite frankly, it is, but this is an album that commands respect despite its name. These are serious musicians making a serious work of a concept. It really is a case of not judging a book by its cover.

As far as top tracks are concerned, the opening track, “Sense,” is one of the smoother songs on the album and likely the easiest for someone new to the genre to get into. Most catchy, however, goes to “Trapdoor,” a middle track which you will surely hum every time you hear the titular word for a very long time. My favorite track, however, is of course the title track, “Paper Mache Dream Balloon” – not to be confused with “Paper Mache,” a summary track from the end of the album. I have put this song on loop and slept to it, along with using it almost as white noise when doing many other tasks due to it’s calming nature. 

This does not mean these are the only songs worth listening to on the album though, as I truly believe that every song on it is truly wonderful. While not every album can be for every person, I believe this album holds at least one thing for most people. As such, this album truly demands a listen from all those who wish to broaden their horizons.

~Matthew Traversa, Staff Writer~

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