Paper Doors is a collection of ten elegant and inspiring songs, kicking off with two focus tracks, the energetic ‘Shadows’, and the gentler, melodic style of ‘In Your Arms’ with the magnetic Martha Wainwright. The album features a stunning cover image created by world-renowned and awarded illustrator, Eiko Ojala
With Paper Doors Felix makes the rare quiet spaces and simple still places add up to something special. After years of navigating touring life as co-founder and long-time front man of The Cat Empire, he’s peering over his shoulder to re- glimpse the experience.
“The windows, the planes, the buses, the back stages, even the rush of the performance – all of that makes no sense while you’re on the road” he says. “But when you come back, music comes out of the quiet places I write, this album is looking at different angles of what movement and travel actually can be.”
Paper Doors was recorded in 2015, with Andy Baldwin (Bjork, Neneh Cherry, The Cat Empire’s self-titled debut) and horn maestro Roscoe James Irwin (Washington, The Bamboos, Paul Kelly), Ben Edgar and Daniel Farrugia (Goyte, Angus and Julia Stone, Missy Higgins), Ryan Monro and Ollie McGill (The Cat Empire) at Sing Sing Studios in Richmond, Victoria.
Paper Doors features three duets -Wasting Time (with Little Birdy’s Katy Steele), the aforementioned In Your Arms with Martha Wainwright, and Snowflakes with Tinpan Orange’s Emily Lubitz. Arriving one after another, in the wake of the infectious build of the opening title track, each duet brings something new and special to Riebl’s own performance. “They all bring something out which is special to me. When I’m able to sing really quietly, the presence of a female character adds some sparkle and character that brings another timbre in my own voice. “
Quiet? Sure, at certain junctures. But Riebl is at pains to point out that ‘quiet’ needn’t mean ‘sentimental’. “I’m now confident in the frailty of my voice” he says “ I used to feel inhibited but recognising the fractures and breaks, it’s a nice point to reach.”
“It’s been an important aspect of my songwriting, both for The Cat Empire and for this album, to try and write songs that reside in an atmosphere.” Riebl says. “I think that’s what makes an album special: you find a way to give the songs an atmosphere in one world. That’s why I still believe in ‘the album’, otherwise it’s just one song after the next.”
Felix Riebl might be standing still for a moment, but the jury’s already in: Paper Doors stands ready to take us on a wonderful journey. “I’ve spent lot of my life in a very strange timezone: this album re-traces some of those steps and finds music and broken language in the smaller details, without trying to make sense of anything. That’s a very distinct and quite fantastic feeling.”
1- Paper Doors
2- Wasting Time, ft Katy Steele
3- Snowflakes, ft Emily Lubitz
4- In Your Arms, ft Martha Wainwright
5- Out Where You Are
6- All I Can Say