Paper Jackets
[Photo credit: Jacob Boll]

In a sea of dark blue, L.A. six-piece Paper Jackets are bringing a burst of color into the city with their new music video for “What They Call A Life.” The band are exclusively premiering the uplifting, synth-fueled music video with AltPress.

“What They Call A Life” soars as a pop tune, representing vulnerability, retrospection and inspiration all at once with glowing optimism. The single will appear on their forthcoming debut album, Souvenirs, due within the year.

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AltPress received a behind-the-scenes look at what moved the band to write their song, advice they have for musicians during self-isolation and what they’re looking forward to in 2020. Check out the full interview and new music video below. 

“What They Call A Life” is a bright pop tune with hard-hitting lyrics about reality. Tell us about the story. Did any personal experiences influence your writing?

 We are telling a story about the human condition, how no one is ever really OK and how we’re all learning to cope in life. Some go kicking and screaming, [while] others barely know they are there. It’s about hope, clarity, the need to have a voice and, I think most of all, the promise [of] having a legacy. I think the biggest fear in our hearts is being forgotten, and even though nothing truly lasts forever, it is impossible sometimes to comprehend. “What They Call A Life” is about having strength while you’re here in this life, keeping friends and family close and being present. Personal experiences did influence the writing as they often do. In this case, it feels like we are contestants in the game of life. The song is a reflection of the darkest fears and brightest hopes.

Your music video has a beautiful cityscape background. How did you create the idea behind the video?

We needed to shoot a music video that exuded the raw characteristics of the song, and New York City in early February did just the trick. The color blue really pops in the wintertime, especially with all the large windows that make up the skyline. It was our film team, Mahala Gaylord and Nejc Poberaj, who really brought the idea into fruition and the lovely performance by our dancer friend Eloise DeLuca. It is always incredible working with this fine group.    

What’s the easiest part about recording with a six-piece outfit? What’s the hardest part?

The easiest part is not everyone is actively working [on] one part of the song at the same time. Typically, the songs are written on acoustic guitar and turned into full band productions afterward, which in my mind is the correct method. I will say at some point I would like to try this process in reverse. The hardest part of recording in a large group is too many cooks and not enough kitchen. 

 How’s your band staying creative and connected in this period of self-isolation and quarantine? What advice do you have for musicians who are in a creative rut due to being stuck inside? 

I would say go outside, go on far walks and don’t be too worried. The scariest part of our lives has yet to come, and this too will pass. There will always be creative ruts, but if there was ever a time to free your mind, it is now. Take the pressure off yourself first. We’ve been making the best of the quarantine time by creating homemade videos that incorporate a promotional aspect but are also fun and engaging for friends and fans. MGK and Travis Barker have one that I love with their quarantine cover of “Misery Business.” The biggest thing that keeps me from going into a rut is not just picking up the guitar for the hell of it. Pick it up when you have something to say. Have a purpose vs. seeking a purpose.  

 What can listeners expect in 2020? What are you most excited about in regard to your forthcoming album Souvenirs?

This is by far our most exciting year for releases yet. Souvenirs provides all the necessary and appropriate tracks to satisfy alt listeners. You can expect the complete and full Monty! We are most excited about finally having our debut album out and hitting the road for a whole new promo cycle. We hope to see you out there soon. Much love!