Paper Route began organically in 2004 when Chad Howat fought insomnia by recording music in the studio he created by modifiying his bunkbed. Yes, Paper Route started under Chad Howat's bed. Howat programmed, played bass, accordion, synths and even snuck into an undisclosed location masquerading as a music student to record piano. JT Daly, a close friend and old band mate, started coming over to sing, drum, and play bells. Howat's and Daly's dreams of doing a project together was finally becoming a reality. After a month or so went by, Andy Smith, another close friend and ex-bandmater started contributing vocals, guitar, harmonica, and some synths. Paper Route had naturally formed between the three of them. But the journey did not end there.
Kate York stopped by Bottom Bunk Studios, as it came to be known, to check out what they were up to and wound up lending her gorgeous voice and melody to a song. Mike Daly, a lap steel veteran who came over and set up shop in the bedroom studio. Another friend, Claire Indie, brought her cello over one evening and played beautifully. Before they knew it, Paper Route had recorded a handful of songs under the bed. Once Paper Route had completed the songs, JT Daly designed different covers for each track. Usually this meant he sat on the floor and worked on art while Chad Howat was mixing at his desk. So the 2006 self-titled EP, Paper Route, and the follow-up EP, 2008's Are We all Forgotten, are the products of Chad Howat's sleepless nights.
Paper Route did escape Chad Howat's bunk bed for the recording their first full length and Universal Motown debut Absence, but kept the asthetic in a rented, hundred-year-old house on Grantland Avenue in Nashville. Every morning, Paper Route would dive into recording, waking any unsuspecting, sleeping roommates in the process. The band borrowed microphones and instruments from friends around town, creating a laundry list of favors to return. In between working day jobs and appeasing complaining neighbors, Paper Route wrote songs, deconstructed them, then reassembled them together in new ways. Nothing was sacred.
The Grantland house, itself, was very inspiring and when given the opportunity to record in "real" studios a few months later, Paper Route politely declined, knowing that no studio could ever replicate what the band had at that house. The importance environment played in the inspiration and creation of Absence cannot be overstated. During the course of recording, the house developed such a reputation around town that other bands and artists began to use the house as well. Grantland quickly became somewhat of an artistic hub, with music coming out of all rooms, paintings and drawings hung on every wall, and people writing lyrics on the porch or in the backyard. On any given night, there could be a house show, an art exhibition, or a film crew using the house as a set. Ideas seem to be in the walls, in the wood floors and on the porch of the old house. With a little luck and attentiveness, Paper Route would tap into that creative energy and capture it.
Paper Route had a difficult time picking an album title that tied everything together, but Absence seemed to fit best. Whether it be a vacant lover, the loss of a family member, or wrestling with God, Paper Route felt like this was really an album full of internal examination and questioning.
So when you hear Absence, you are hearing Andy, Gavin, JT and myself coming together, figuring out how to make an album for the first time. You are hearing drums in the living room...guitars in a bathroom, and vocals in the bedroom. Paper Route made this album themselves. Despite the imperfections, and maybe because of the imperfections and flaws, you hear Paper Route trying to best capture something internal and convert it to something external.
Listen to Paper Route Here
|Paper Route EP||2006||Low Altitude Records|
|Are We All Forgotten||2008||Low Altitude Records|
|Thank God the Year is Finally Over EP||2009||Independent|
|Additions EP||2010||Motown Records|
|Peace of Wild Things||2012||Tree of Hearts|