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Box Painted Black
  • Artist: Paper Dollhouse
  • Label: Bird
  • UPC: 5060099503597
  • Item #: PID503597
  • Genre: Rock
  • Release Date: 8/25/2017
  • This product is a special order
Price: $12.49
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Box Painted Black on CD

2012 release. Paper Dollhouse is the work of Astrud Steehouder. Her debut album, A Box Painted Black, on Bird Records, the femme-folk off shoot of the Finders Keepers family is a dark minimal gothic folk which comprises haunting vocals, acoustic guitar, effects pedals, found sounds, slide projector, and minimal electronic atmospherics. Inspired by early '60s electronic pioneers Delia Derbyshire and Eliane Radigue, bleak British television soundtracks, minimal dark electronica, Scott Walker, Arthur Russell, Christine Harwood, and France Gall, the music combines simple folk songs with environmental and electronic textural sounds and visuals to create a pared down, beautiful experience. A Box Painted Black was named after the 1988 cult horror film Paperhouse, Atrud explains: "I watched the film when I was about ten and was really drawn in by it. Something about the quality and tone of it, the psychology and aesthetic of that struck a chord and been with me ever since. I'm into actual dollhouses and models of things as well. I used to make these little viewfinder boxes containing little scenes in them as a child for fun, I found them magical." Steehouder has created a new kind of (black) magic on her debut release. A Box Painted Black was recorded entirely in the kitchen and garden of her London home amongst the incidental sounds of trains passing, children playing, door slams, and running water. The songs retain the ambience of the place they were recorded. Often first takes and recorded as soon as they were penned, the songs combine an immediacy and raw quality which fills the album with a naivety and emotive dark tonality. Dense in simplicity and thick with silence the songs are restrained, intense, lingering, and decorated with white noise. Steehouder names "bewildering post nuclear landscapes, bleak fields, forests, thunderstorms and archaic industrial objects in the middle of nowhere" as influences. The songs possess a folk pop sensibility rich in mysterious hooks that creep up on you from around a dark alleyway, following you on the all the way home at night. There is a raw completeness to the work, the body of which is clearly a deep and evolving spectrum. Hypnotic, meditative, and a midnight look through the keyhole of Paper Dollhouse's secret garden.