Past, present, future – time travel in pastel colors with Paperdeer’s new studio album.
Pastel Days, the second full-length album of Paperdeer, was released on Friday, the 2nd July 2021. The alternative electronic music band playfully brings us from past to present, taking inspiration from the very lives of the producer duo Norbert Biró and Benjámin Kiss. The album will be presented live on the 10th July in Budapest.
Six years after their debut album Fabled, the band arrived to shake things up and to take us on a journey with Pastel Day. „This album has gone through a lot of things. We wanted to collaborate with as many creators and artists as possible, from even different fields of art. The Hungarian poet Márton István Szabó, contributed to the songs with his ambiguous and abstract lyrics. It was pretty easy to adopt the feelings and intentions of our instrumentals into his texts, because we think pretty much alike: we had plenty of experiences together since the three of us grew up together, going to the same high school too. In these pieces of music, we experimented more with guitars, bass guitars and synthesizers, layering personal recordings and virtual instruments to enrich both analog and digital sounding. We aimed to condense most of our ideas into art. The album was mixed at Gainlab studios, in Budapest” – tells Norbert Biró about the inception.
Fans are already familiar with 4 songs from Pastel Days: Gazsiafter with its carefully crafted visuals, Fortress having BÖBE on vocals, the critically acclaimed Regularity shot in the 80s soviet movie aesthetics and Morning Swell, making us remember all the summer vibes.
The concept of the album is a collection of the producer’s life experiences. „The idea when the tracks on an album would take up some sort of a context and would head to a direction from the first song to the last one, has always fascinated me. We wanted to create our body of work having this in mind. By aiming for this, we decided to re-record the whole album as one piece by fading the songs into each other, insert some interludes between songs that needed some emotional transition, and then slice the whole piece up into smaller units at last. This way they became linear from past to present in meaning and from memories to speculations in messaging. For instance, Us and Gazsiafter were born from the odd night outs and the kebab hunting after parties in our earlier years. Halldór portrays the beginning of my snowboarding career, while Youth is basically about Benji daydreaming. The idea of March 1 came to the world while staring at stars above the lake Balaton, and Morning Swell was born in a harbour in Tenerife. Halfway into the album though, we gradually start to seek the future through the predictable near future, heading further into playing a guessing game. With the song Orbit City, we played with the thought of how a person in the 70s and 80s would have imagined the music of the future in the 2020-s could have sounded like.”
Pastel Days was created both in Budapest and Copenhagen, as the producer duo lives in two different countries since 2015. Conclusionally, this album has been an exercise in distant music-making: „We would always unpack the ideas together and then comes the phase of experimentation and improvisation. I think it works the best for both of us if we start with our initial ideas alone, so we will not end up pulling from the same pool of ideas when we create the basics of a song. The process usually grows organically from then on, and I would travel home for a little, if we find a few draft songs which are worth finishing.” – explains Norbi the dynamics between themselves. „Oddly enough, the restrictions during the pandemic actually did good to the album, as we were able to spend more time together to focus on the music, and our fellow artists were more available too.”- he adds.
There are numerous other musicians who contributed to the album. The Hungarian singer BÖBE featured on their song Fortress, who often tours and collaborates with the band Belau. They had Le Boum on vocals, who has already been heard on one of their most successful tracks Paper Planes, and a professional guitar artist Gergely Szurgyi playing the agile guitar melody on Regularity. Further singers include a Danish-Japanese folk singer, Alumna from the Netherlands, their friend’s girlfriend Viktória Vadász, the Hungarian singer Zsófi Pettenkoffer, and the Australian indie singer Steve Tyssen. The band also collaborated with recognised visual artists for their music videos.
“We are really happy to be able to work with so many creative people from so many countries and fields of art. I believe we created something very meaningful, and that gives us further boost to continue.”
Pastel Days is now available on all platforms for purchase and streaming.