Paper Relics are brothers Harry and Stuart Towell who reside 16.1 miles apart. Their debut album was released back in the summer of 2011 on American imprint Time Released Sound, entitled ‘Over Exposure’. This was a record steeped in the past as they used lo-fi blues and folk guitar Ambience to reflect over childhood memories spent on a farm on which their grandparents live. The farm was set to become a housing development so the memories became all the more cherished through the recordings and accompanying artwork.
Now nearly 7 years on, the brothers’ follow-up record ‘The Road Home’ traces the journey from that very point of reflecting on childhood memories as young adults circa 2010/11, to now. The title might read to some as a return home, a struggle back to a family abode however, this record deals with the trials, triumphs and time in between, having both set out to forge their own paths to become homeowners with their respective wives. When they began recording, the brothers lived in the same home with their parents, each with a new relationship and a stuttering career. Yet whilst The Road Home tells the story of the last 7 years reflecting on what is now already history – it is an album firmly about the present as they enjoy the foundation for their futures, clinging onto what they’ve worked hard to achieve. The lyrics in ‘Timeframing’ are about freezing these moments and the dozens of clocks you can hear ticking at the beginning can also be heard in ‘Tinted by Time’ on Over Exposure. Harry revisited the same antique shop where these were originally captured to see if they were still there and was able to re-record them once more. This recording plays briefly as the track opens to focus your thoughts on time once more.
Opening track ‘Stoke’s Hall’ was something Stuart penned and recorded the night before Harry’s wedding and the title reflects the name of the venue. Likewise, Wyke’s Retreat harks back to Stuart’s wedding from the summer of 2017. Over Exposure was creaking with rustic charm, whereas The Road Home sees a more structured approach to production. There is more variety, as some pieces drone gloriously in an elegant daze, others are more alive as the subtle power of Stuart’s guitar takes centre stage. Then this time around Harry has provided vocals in ‘Timeframing’ and ‘Frost’ as well as building a couple of tracks that use drumloops and percussion, recalling some of his downtempo work as Spheruleus. To give one final twist to the presentation, Harry and Stuart enlisted the assistance of Berlin artist Sven Laux, who provided additional orchestration and sound mixing.
Paper Relics albums are never likely to be released on a regular basis due to the busy lifestyles the brothers lead, so we felt our usual run of 50 copies wouldn’t be enough to do this album justice. So The Road Home is available in two runs of 50 copies; our familiar ‘white label vinyl-effect CDr’ as well as a special printed CDr edition that looks just like a mini gatefold LP.