Credit: Paper Anthem
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Credit: Paper Anthem
Paper Anthem is the brainchild of Seattle, WA twenty-something Joseph Hitchcock. Though the name wasn't chosen until 2014, the project began as an emotional outlet in November 2013 when Hitchcock first started playing shows to mostly empty bars. April 2015 finally saw the release of By Ghosts, a collection of songs Hitchcock claims were given to him by a haunted piano.
Hitchcock has been making music for as long as he can remember, first taking piano lessons at the age of six. From there he learned to play the guitar and found his voice and, after dabbling in roles in other bands here and there, decided it was time to work on some of his personal material.
Though the songs on By Ghosts weren't written to connect as an album, they were conceived during a particularly susceptible period in Hitchcock's life. His subconscious had found a way to abstractly bottle his thoughts and emotions. Looking at the album as a whole, however, consistent themes emerge and become readily apparent. Born in Arkansas, he says also that feeling stuck in small towns has forced him to imagine grander imagery through his lyrics.
Taking inspiration from a diverse range of artists (everyone from VAST to Tom Vek, Foals to Snow Patrol, Tegan & Sara to Eno), Hitchcock fuses elements of pop, big beat electronica, piano rock, and even math rock. "Some of my songs are inspired by the way two guitars often work together in math rock, but done on piano instead with my two hands" he says.
"When I was a teenager, I listened to a lot of drum and bass and big beat electronica, and I think the way those songs add instruments one-by-one and build influenced me greatly, because I find myself doing that on songs like 'Cardboard Cove', 'Pantheon', and 'Speechless'."
Within one month of its release, By Ghosts had already been added to the libraries and playlists of more than one hundred fifteen college and independent radio stations across the United States. Hitchcock is currently playing shows, building a fanbase, and preparing the release of further material in 2018.