Singled Out: Faded Paper Figures' Count It Out

Keavin Wiggins | 07-17-2020

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Faded Paper Figures

Faded Paper Figures just released their fifth album, "Kairos", and to celebrate we asked them to tell us about the song "Count It Out." Here is the story:

Since we live in different parts of the country, our creative process involves a lot of sending files back and forth online before finally going into the studio for long recording sessions. After our last full-length album "Relics," Kael sent John a new sketch of a synth and drum part, which John loved, but was a bit perplexed by. The time signature for the sketch was 5/8, which, for music nerds and avant-gardists is great, but for pop music fans, is a bit of a nightmare. Typical toe-tappers in synth pop run along in standard 4/4 or 3/4 time, but 5/8? Crazy. John spent a few weeks trying to fit lyrics to the sketch, but nothing worked; it all felt too weird.

Meanwhile, the band kept writing new songs, trying to once again strike a balance between evolving the band's sound and staying true to fans' expectations. Every once in a while, John would throw the 5/8 sketch in his headphones, try again, and fail; this went on for years, and Kael kept pushing for it. In 2019, when the band had decided that the new album title would be "Kairos," and that its overarching theme would be thinking about "time" and "nowness," John suddenly realized that all this time (LOL!) he'd been struggling with the "time" of the song, and that perhaps that was a key to thinking through the possibility of the lyrics and the song's inspiration. The lyrics came almost like magic at that point. Five years of working with this sketch, and we finally had the words to go with it. "It's about time," said Kael. "Exactly," said John.

"Count It Out" became the refrain for the song, as well as a challenge to listeners. And if you listen patiently, there's a long outro that we hope provides an opportunity to just sit and meditate on the time you have.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen and watch for yourself below and learn more about the album here

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