Faded Paper Figures

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Faded Paper Figures
Background information
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Electropop, synthpop
Years active 2007–present
Labels Shorthand Records
Website www.fadedpaperfigures.com
Members Kael Alden, R. John Williams, Heather Alden

Faded Paper Figures (abbreviated as FPF) is an American indie pop electronica band from Los Angeles, California. FPF is known for their electro-organic sound sometimes compared to bands and artists like Weevil, The Postal Service, Belle and Sebastian, Lights and Morrissey. The band consists of three members, R. John Williams (guitar and vocals) (brother of Becky Jean Williams, lead singer and lyricist for Late Night Alumni), Kael Alden (bass, guitar, drums, etc...), and Heather Alden (vocals). The band formed in February 2007 and released their debut album Dynamo in 2008. Their second album New Medium, was released on May 25, 2010. Their third album The Matter was released on October 22, 2012.[1] Their latest album "Relics" was released on Aug. 5, 2014.


Faded Paper Figures met in early 2007. The genesis was at a party in Irvine, California, where John Williams and Kael Alden were discussing music. Kael was composing music for TV and film with his older brother's company, Robot Repair.[2] John already had some experience as a musician and songwriter. Both full of ideas for a new sound, they decided to record some material together. Over the next few months they wrote and composed a number of songs, experimenting with blending traditional guitar with electronica. The songs went up first on a new MySpace page under the name of Machine Discourse. Heather Alden joined in as a harmony vocalist, rounding out and softening the band's sound. Not long after the band's name changed to Faded Paper Figures, and with a growing song list and a mounting audience, the band's sound solidified. NPR described their first album as "a balance of upbeat and soothing electronics," but their recent music has taken on a more energetic tone, with live drums sounds mixing with electro-beats.[3] The band is also currently recording new music and preparing a music video.[4]


Faded Paper Figures released their first album, Dynamo, on July 11, 2008. The track "Being There" won Best Song of the Year in the UC Irvine Songwriting Contest. A music video of "Metropolis" came out and the band began to play live concerts. They were chosen Best Electronic live band by the OC Music Awards in 2009, and were declared one of the New York Post's "must have" new music of 2009.[5][6]

New Medium[edit]

Various developments changed the band recently, with Heather beginning medical school at UCLA, and John moving to New Haven, Connecticut with a job as a Professor in English and Media Studies at Yale University. But they continue to write, compose and record bi-coastally. The group's second album, New Medium, was released May 25, 2010. During their summer 2010 west coast tour, two more people joined the band to translate their studio sound live: Kurt Deninger (drums) and Sebastian Hackett (additional keys and guitars).

The Matter[edit]

The band's third studio album, along with two new music videos, was released in late 2012. The Matter has a generally darker, fuller sound than the previous albums, with several tracks featuring full drums, orchestral arrangements, and buzzy synths. Still, much of the band's signature second-wave synth pop sounds continue, along with sophisticated, deeply literary/philosophical lyrics, and a penchant for unexpected harmonies.[7] The album was among the CMJ top 100 albums during November and December 2012, before falling off the chart again in early 2013.[8] The Matter was also recently released in China (along with Dynamo and New Medium) in a box set on the Chinese "Wind Music" record label, although the band continues to manage their own label, Shorthand Records.[9] The band has begun making a fourth studio album, and is scheduled to be released August 5, 2014 according to a Facebook post made by the band on January 2, 2014.


The band's fourth album was released on Aug. 5, 2014, with various tracks previewing in the weeks before that. The album has already received wider coverage than any of the band's previous albums, with reviews in the U.S. in Paste Magazine,[10] BULLETT Magazine,[11] PopDose;[12] and at Clash Magazine[13] and Wonderland[14] in the UK. The album also debuted in the CMJ top 100.[15]



  • Dynamo (July 11, 2008)
  • New Medium (May 25, 2010)
  • The Matter (October 23, 2012)
  • Relics (Aug. 5, 2014)
  • Remnants (EP) (July 30, 2015)


  • "Logos (Remix)" (2010)

Song appearances[edit]

  • "Polaroid Solution" was played on Grey's Anatomy, episode "I Saw What I Saw" on October 22, 2009.
  • "North By North" was played on Grey's Anatomy, episode "Invest In Love" on November 5, 2009, and was also featured as a KEXP song of the day on Dec. 31, 2008, and on NPR's "Second Stage" on November 25, 2008.
  • "Metropolis" was played on Grey's Anatomy, episode "Time Warp" on February 18, 2010.
  • "I Fell Off My Name" was on the soundtrack to the season premier of MTV's The Real World, October 2009.
  • "Red State," "One More Crash," and "I Fell Off My Name," have all appeared on the soundtrack to MTV's My Life as Liz, Winter 2011.
  • "Small Talk" was used in the Isenseven snowboard film "Don't Panic" in 2010.
  • "New Medium" was used in the Isenseven snowboard film "Let's Go, Get Lost" in 2010.
  • "North By North" was used in the Isenseven snowboard film "Teenage Love Graffiti" in 2008.
  • "Invent it all Again" was used in the documentary Please Subscribe from Dan Dobi in 2012.
  • "Pantechne Driver" was used in "FREE- Freeskiing's Journey To Sport's Biggest Stage" on NBC Sports Network on Jan. 30, 2014.


External links[edit]