Paper Jackets capture life on the edge of limitations in their exciting, unhinged anthem “Trigger,” a vibrant and impassioned expression of unity.
You can be my trigger, so set me off
We each have our passions, our needs and desires: The things we turn to in the dark times, to see us through. Paper Jackets capture life on the edge of limitations in their exciting, unhinged anthem “Trigger,” a vibrant and impassioned expression of unity.
I can tell by the way you walk
We can put it all together
I know I know I know it gets dark
Wishing on the stars
I can tell by the way you talk
Only you can do it better
You are, you are, the one that lives on
Heaven isn’t far
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “Trigger,” off Paper Jackets’ debut EP Don’t Lose Your Head (released August 3, 2018 via Selma Records). Based in Los Angeles, Paper Jackets consists of vocalist James Mason, keyboardist Emily Dickinson, guitarist Jonny Vesely, bassist Miles Franco, backing vocalist Aimee Proal and drummer David Allen. The sextet come together over a sleep pop/rock sound their PR describes as “experimental indie rock and a synth-pop.”
A member of the next generation of indie pop bands, Paper Jackets are perfect for fans of Smallpools, Bleachers, COIN and Walk the Moon. Their sound is big and effusive, an explosion of light — and one with purpose: Much of Don’t Lose Your Head deals with salient topics like anxiety and depression. Mason’s lyrics come from a place of personal experience, as well as one of cognizant observation — and “Trigger” serves as the perfect introduction to Paper Jackets and their music.
Don’t matter what it cost
You could be my best friend
We can make it all make sense
Anything you want
We can fly to London
Have another drink at the Ritz
I know, I know, I know it gets better
Cause in the end
You can be my trigger
You can be my trigger
So set me off
“Spontaneous, delirious but not in denial, this is a song about falling right to the edge of our limitations,” Mason tells Atwood Magazine. “Music makes us feel limitless, impervious to consequence and somehow even though deep down we know nothing comes without a price we’ve made peace with living for the moment and coloring outside the lines from time to time.”
Mason cries in a chorus full of emotion, “I know, I know, I know it gets better,” begging his subject not only to let him help them, but also to help him: “You can be my trigger, so set me off.” At some levels, “Trigger” can be seen as an ode to music’s therapeutic qualities in and of itself; but whether you’re singing to a concept or singing to a specific person, “Trigger” captures a sense of urgency and dire need.
Directed by Ivanna Borin, the “Trigger” video is an exciting first real look at Paper Jackets, introducing all six band members on a road trip through downtown Los Angeles. We see a little bit behind the scenes into each of their personalities, through their own eyes, while at the same time the full band is portrayed as a single unit – a team. Armed with such bright, passionate sounds and equally evocative imagery, Paper Jackets have the potential to fly — and we hope to join them for the ride.
Stream the “Trigger” music video exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and get to know Paper Jackets through our exclusive interview below!
Stream: “Trigger” – Paper Jackets
A CONVERSATION WITH PAPER JACKETS
Atwood Magazine: Thanks for your time, Paper Jackets! To start us off, we’re about to hit the 6-month point for your debut EP Don’t Lose Your Head, which released August 2018. How has your relationship with the EP transformed over these 6 months?
Paper Jackets: It’s been an awesome transformation. We’ve assembled a great team around the music and finally have the support needed to release the EP so we are beyond thrilled. A few highlights from the last six months would definitely include: Shooting a music video for our single “Trigger” along with having the audio remixed by Charlie Park. It’s been great seeing the single respond at radio and the band really take form on the road and at home.
What, if anything, remains your favorite aspect(s) of this record?
Paper Jackets: The excitement of each track, the slick production, finally working together more freely to record and discuss mixes. Getting the band together has been easier now more than ever so we’ve been excited to actually make the record the way we wanted. We love the group vocals and fun synth layers! Lots of harmonies!
“Trigger” serves as an important introduction to Paper Jackets as the EP’s lead single. Why was this song ultimately the introduction to your debut?
Paper Jackets: It was well received right off the bat and we all felt strongly that it would be a successful single. Some might argue that “Girl” is just as good but ultimately you have to choose and not everyone will agree. There’s no secret to picking.
“I know it gets hard living in the sun,” you sing at the song’s start. I’d like to talk about that line and how it sets up the song… especially its themes of pressure. Can you expand on that line’s significance and the theme of internal pain that permeates the song?
Paper Jackets: In this particular part of the verse the feeling is that we’ve sort of gone astray. Like that mid to late twenties lull when nothing is ever as good as you imagined that it would be and the reality is that you’re only human.
“Trigger” is as much a highlight of anxiety as it is one of salvation and being uplifted through connection. What inspired this song; how did it come about?
Paper Jackets: We had just been through a few rocky changes with management. We started writing and recording two songs a week. Right at the beginning we landed this song and in a way it was a huge relief to what had been going on.
The music video is very special, as it highlights every band member while simultaneously giving a little band history in a scenic jaunt around the city. What’s going on in the video?
Paper Jackets: Exactly, I couldn’t have said it better. It explores each story as seen from the street as the band passes on a floating platform around downtown LA. Our director, Ivanna Borin is a creative monster and really pulls a stylish video together when tasked to do so. We give her all the props.
Where was the video taken, and also why did the idea of shooting a ride around the city so meaningful for you? How, for you, does this act as an extension of the song and its message?
Paper Jackets: Downtown LA has that worn industrial look and feel to it , interesting architecture and street views. We thought this location was fitting to tell each band members story. We’ve all lived out similar stories but share the same city which is LA and thought shooting close to home would be right. Lucky for us because we shot this in late December.
One thing I love about Paper Jackets is how I 100% feel as though your music is your own; that you’re really making it for yourselves! What are your influences and how do you compromise between what “works” pop-wise, and the internal mechanics that drive you artistically?
Paper Jackets: Luckily what works pop-wise usually works for us! You’re right, our music is completely ours and that feels great! We’ve been fortunate to write and record the songs we want and very rarely do we have creative differences.
“Experimental indie rock and a synth-pop” is such a nuanced description of the music you make, and yet nothing quite captures what you’re doing at the moment. How do you describe your own sound, and what have you been up to creatively since the EP release?
Paper Jackets: We’ve been writing and recording a fair amount since the EP. I would say we are a Pop band with some ’90s alternative rock tendencies. I’m not sure how I feel about being indie but if that’s what they’re calling it I’ll go along.
Jumping off that last question, what’s coming down the pipeline next for Paper Jackets and what do you hope to accomplish in 2019?
Paper Jackets: We’re really excited about the release of our EP Don’t Lose Your Head and look forward to supporting this release throughout 2019! Keep an eye out for us this Spring and Summer!
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📸 © 2019 directed by Ivanna Borin album art © Mariano Peccinetti