LISTEN TO OUR MUSIC
Released on January 29, 2021, Paper Child follows a conversation between an individual and an idealized version of their younger self, during a time of emotional distress; a plea to reconnect with a side of themselves that had been lost in time. This child is treated as more of an entity of purity and innocence, but one that has clearly suffered throughout their years of neglect and detachment (“...Your hands so cold from bleeding in this life, You’ve broken from your trials). The narrator attempts to verbally engage with the child but to no avail, and eventually decides to share his wisdom of the future: “Paper Child, don’t you lose your worth, Know the snow will fall and leaves will crawl to be right where you are.” To paraphrase: despite the overwhelming nature of the never-ending crawl of time, don’t ever lose your love for life... It’s worth more than you know. Eventually, during the climactic finale of the bridge, the narrator comes to the realization that their own fear of embracing innocence has been hindering their progression the entire time; if one gives in to their child-like wonder once again, despite knowing the pain and fear that inevitably comes with love and living, one can find rediscover the joy in their existence once again.
"Powerful, stirring and smoldering slice of indie-rock balladry; guitars burn as keys chime melodically beneath a sea of smoldering emotion while rich vocals purr atop - it is moving, deeply emotive and anthemic" - BarryGruff
Band Alternative Music Indie
MUSIC VIDEO SYNOPSIS
The 'Paper Child' music video follows the journey of a young man, as he discovers he can blend and transition between two distinct settings: where he is initially found, alone in a dark room filled with old furniture and memories, and outside, where he is illuminated in light and colour, surrounded by his newfound companions. The dark room is metaphorical for the young man’s isolation, depression, and emotional ties to his past, a place where he has unconsciously entrapped himself. With nowhere to go, he turns to his music, and begins to play his guitar. As the song progresses and the instrumentation builds, the room is explored; the camera passes by a VCR playing TV static (a physical manifestation of the boy’s cluttered mind), and a polaroid of his younger self appears on the once-empty desk behind him. The song continues, and as he plays through the pre-chorus, the man sees flashes of a new place… A place unfamiliar, but vibrant, with two friends leading him towards it.
Suddenly bursting into this new place full of colour and energy, the protagonist finds that he can move into this optimistic world, through the performance of music with his new companions, somewhere in the distance. The snow in the background represents a white light of sorts, creating a setting that gives off an aura of purity and hope, something that the man didn’t realize he was devoid of for so long. Getting lost in the sound and experience, and trying to get closer to his friends through it, the man is suddenly taken back to whence he came, just as quickly as he left before. This battle between these two worlds is the central theming of the video, as the setting and tonal shifts reflect the back-and-forth battle many people face when battling depression. As the man looks around in confusion, he realizes that the room he’s been inhabiting has become his own prison, and he finally decides to find a way out. Many items have started to disappear from the room, and as he gets up, he can see the TV is now playing a video of himself as a child. This correlates to the main messaging of the song Paper Child: a desire to reconnect with the happiness and innocence the narrator once had in their youth. The man finally notices a door, and attempts to open it, to no avail. As he walks backwards, the rest of the room mysteriously disappears, and he realizes he is truly alone (not entirely without hope, however, as shown through the metaphor of the burning fire in the stove beside him). In one last attempt, he returns to his chair, and focuses once again on singing his music, the one thing that released him from the room before.
Finally, as the song breaks into the final chorus, the man is freed from the room once more. And this time, he has finally found his companions, and they perform in a display of euphoric relief. The road is filled with their energy, until once again, the protagonist finds himself alone in the street. As he looks around, he realizes that the ‘room’ he had created has followed him into his ideal world, and the lines between his prison and his freedom are blurred. The room was never truly a room, but an omnipotent manifestation of his ever-present mental turmoil. As he walks down the road to find a way out, he passes more and more relics of the prison; first a chair, then a lamp, etc. As they continue to leech into his world, he gets more and more anxious, until he finally come across a table, with the polaroid of his child-self from the beginning of the video. This serves as a symbol of optimism, as the man realizes that his child-like wonder and happiness were never truly lost, but rather something he had simply buried within himself. Realizing what he must do, the protagonist decides to run. No end goal in sight, but instead, consciously deciding to physically push through it all. As the song transitions into the final chorus, we see his attempts of escapism, with the shots of him running away, and throwing himself at the door in the room. These are starkly contrasted with the full-band shots, which show the true solution to the protagonist’s situation: the man may never truly shed himself of his mental turmoil, but it is possible for him to find a balance between his two ‘worlds’, and live peacefully in this fusion of his separate states (this is reflected through the use of the room props in the band shots). As the song comes to an end, we close on a shot of the man opening the door of the room, illuminated by white light. It was never so simple as to just power through and break down the door… Once he reached his place of acceptance, peace, and balance, he merely had to twist the knob.
CITY OF CONTRAST
Following their debut release City of Contrast, Taken By Sanity’s EP Saturn Days released on May 29, 2020 and is a short collection of passionate alt-pop anthems: from the upbeat, summer-party vibes of Streetlights, to the 80s inspired synth-pop bop of Saturn Boys, the inspiring and scream-worthy hopefulness of Waterfall, and to the somber finale of Labyrinth, the band’s latest project is an honest and exciting development in their discography.
Taken By Sanity's debut album 'City of Contrast" was released on June 1, 2019. Described as "a diverse, engaging project", each track has a distinctive sound from one another; from the upbeat, synth-heavy hooks of 'Glass Hands', to the slow melancholic ballad of 'Shade of Blue', to the epic orchestral finale of 'Gravity'.