Paper Bird

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Paper Bird
Paper Bird 2011.jpg
Performing in Colorado Springs in 2011
Background information
Origin Denver, Colorado, USA
Genres Folk, indie
Years active Since 2007
Labels Thirty Tigers
Members Sarah Anderson
Genevieve Patterson
Carleigh Aikins
Mark Anderson
Caleb Summeril
Paul DeHaven
Past members Esmé Patterson
Macon Terry
Tyler Archuletta
Davis Gunter

Paper Bird is a six-piece indie folk band based in Denver, Colorado. The band is composed of: Genny Patterson (vocals), Carleigh Aikins (vocals), brother and sister Mark (drums) and Sarah Anderson (vocals and cornet/trumpet), Paul DeHaven (guitar), and Caleb Summeril (bass, banjo, guitar), Davis Gunter ( backup vocals).


Paper Bird formed in 2006 and their self-released first album, Anything Nameless and Joymaking appeared in 2007. Summer 2008 Paper Bird went on their first national tour with New Belgium Brewery's "Tour de Fat", they have been touring nationally ever since.[1] On their East Coast tour, they had numerous sold-out venues, including some in Philadelphia and New York City.[2] They are very successful locally, and were voted "top band" by 5280 magazine, as well as one of the "Top Ten" best bands by the Denver Post.[3] On June 24, 2009, Paper Bird's first EP titled "A Sky Underground" was released, followed by a summer tour which included stops at High Sierra Music Festival, Oregon Country Fair, Mile High Music Festival and 10,000 Lakes Festival.

Paper Bird has shared the stage with Hall & Oates, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Nathaniel Rateliff, Neko Case, DeVotchKa, The Lumineers and many, many others. The EP A Sky Underground was picked up and re-released digitally April 2010 by Park The Van Records.[4] and the live EP Live at Twist & Shout.[5] In July 2010 the band again self-released their second full-length album When the River Took Flight.

In the fall of 2010, Paper Bird began working with Ballet Nouveau Colorado.[6] The band composed the music for a ballet entitled Carry On. Their music was then combined with the choreography and films by Garrett Ammon, it thus became a multi-media performance which debuted at the Lakewood Cultural Center on February 4, 2011 and was played to sold-out houses in February. Carry On was released as a full-length, two-act live album on June 11, 2011. They recorded it live onstage with the ballerinas.[7] Paper Bird hired Mark Anderson and Stelth Ulvang to perform the ballet. Anderson was inducted to the band's roster after the ballet.

In September 2012, the band released a remix album entitled Carry On RMXD: Paper Bird Reimagined. It is an eclectic and electronic exploration of their typically organic sound.

After much touring in 2012, Paper Bird returned to the studio to craft their fourth full-length album, Rooms, released March 26, 2013. Produced by William Ryan Fritch, Rooms was written in October/November 2012 and recorded at Mighty Fine Audio in Denver in December. It is their first recording without a trombone, and with Mark Anderson's percussion playing a greater role.

The band toured extensively throughout North America in 2013 and 2014, and in mid 2014 parted ways with vocalist Esmé Patterson. Toronto-based singer Carleigh Aikins (Bahamas, Foxjaws) joined Paper Bird. Their fifth record was produced by John Oates and recorded at Addiction Studios in Nashville, TN.

Musical style[edit]

Paper Bird is a six-piece band composed of three female lead vocals, guitar, bass, and drums. Unlike most bands, which tend to play exclusively four-beat or three-beat, they often play in odd meters, such as seven-beat and five-beat. Having three lead singers allows them to have rich multi-part vocal harmonies. While their sound has been described as "vintage"[8] and "timeless",[6] their sound has evolved significantly since the band's inception. Paper Bird has always focused on the vocal harmonies of their music, which have been described as "velvety and sweet".[9] Their newest release Rooms, finds them digging deeper into their influences: including gospel, soul, rock and roll, shoe-gaze, African rhythms, indie pop, folk, R&B and jazz.


  • Anything Nameless and Joymaking (2007 - self released)
  • A Sky Underground (2009 - self released) (2010 - Park The Van Records)
  • Live at Twist and Shout (2009 - Twist & Shout Records)
  • When the River Took Flight (2010 - self released)
  • Carry On (2011 - self released)
  • Carry On RMXD: (Paper Bird Reimagined) (2012 - self released)
  • Rooms (2013 - self released)
  • Paper Bird (2016 - Thirty Tigers)


  1. ^ Grossman, Erica (October 1, 2009). "Paper Bird spreads its wings". The Boulder Weekly. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  2. ^ "WILD BUT MUSICALLY ARTFUL; PAPER BIRD MAKES AN AUSPICIOUS RETURN TO TAOS.". Taos News. The Santa Fe New Mexican. August 19, 2010.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  3. ^ Moore, John (2008-07-27). "Voting: The top 242 bands of 2008". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2012-11-01. 
  4. ^ "Paper Bird". Park The Van. 
  5. ^ "Live at Twist & Shout CD's". Twist & Shout Records. 
  6. ^ a b Shaffer, Tracy (September 5, 2012). "Ballet Nouveau Colorado Soars With Paper Bird". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Carry On". Ballet Nouveau Colorado. 
  8. ^ Interviewer:Guy Raz (November 7, 2009). "A Banjo And A Trombone Make Paper Bird's Vintage Sounds". All Things Considered. NPR. 
  9. ^ "THE HUM: VARIETY IS THE SPICE; YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU MIGHT SEE DURING GRACE O'MALLEY NIGHT AT SECO PEARL.". Taos News. The Santa Fe New Mexican. March 26, 2009.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)

External links[edit]