Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Apr 30th, 2021

Blue Water Highway: Paper Airplanes

Blue Water Highway
Paper Airplanes
(Start Swimming)

Buy it at Amazon!

The baker’s dozen of Blue Water Highway’s new album Paper Airplanes, is simply perfect.

The anthemic ballad title track opens. Simple piano, atmospheric guitar sounds, and oh-so-rich three-part harmonies sailing across the poignant chorus melody get you right where you live. Keys from keyboardist (and vocalist) Catherine Clarke and an off-center beat brings us into another heart-breaking melody, on “Sign Language.” And we’re just three songs in!

If the harmonies here were wonderful up to mid-way of this album, which they certainly are, on the spacey-backed ballad of “Bird on a Live Wire,” they are particularly rich. This is one of lead singer Zack Kibodeaux’s best vocals and another sweet little gem from a band I feel really shines when they are at the most studied and quiet.

I love the thickly layered synth lines that make up the short “Parallaxis (Interlude)” leading into the beginning of a U2-sound on “Council Highway.” Suddenly we are into some neo-pop country, a genre this band dips into often here.

We get a harmonica, the nice upfront sound of Kyle Smith’s bass on the poppy “Goodbye Jon,” piano, low strings, and again those oh-so-sweet harmonies on the tear-jerker “Funny Man,” but my heart really broke (in a good way) over the penultimate “Stargaze.” Just string synth, some simple arpeggio piano, and a delicate vocal from Kibodeaux, this is the best song for me on this album with lots of great songs.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the other member of the band, guitar player as much as a singer helping to create the signature harmonies here, Greg Essington. Yeah, you so gotta get your hands on Blue Water Highway’s Paper Airplanes.

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Blue Water Highway: Paper Airplanes