Australian singer Sam Bentley reluctantly admits he still lives at home with his folks in Melbourne, even though his ethereal folk-rock outfit The Paper Kites has released two critically-acclaimed records, 2013’s “States” and the recent “twelvefour.” But he’s not refusing to grow up: “I’m getting married at the end of the year, so I’ve just moved back home until then,” he says. “And we’re on tour until a week before the wedding, so right now I’m living on the road, as it were.” But the comfortable family home would prove crucial to the conception of the inventive “twelvefour,” which was composed at one end of the house.
Your idea for “twelvefour” was a unique: write and record only between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m.?
I was looking for a concept to anchor the second record, and I had it in the back of my head – that whole “album-two” blues. So it came about through a conversation I was having with a friend, who was reading an interview with some screenwriters, and they were talking about when the best time to write was. And 12 to 4 seemed to be the best time to write. So I thought, “That sounds really cool! I’m going to try that!” So I reversed my sleep cycle and stayed up for three months and wrote this record.
Since it was your parents’ place, at least you were well-fed. Right?
Ha! I was, yeah! There’s that side of it, but then the other side is the text messages and the banging on my door in the middle of the night, with them saying, “Keep it down in there!” But for the most part, my parents have always been pretty supportive of my crazy musical endeavors, so they were pretty good about it. There were only a few times where they told me I had to turn it down.
What weird things occurred in those hours?
It’s almost a romantic time of night, I think. It’s very nostalgic, very moody, and obviously very dark at times. And I felt this sense of really wanting to push myself into some weird places, musically. I ended up with 30 demos, not all of which went down that well with the band. While there was this really ‘80s sound coming through the songs, there were some that were delving into trip-hop, even flamenco.
And you did not enjoy it, right?
No. It was exhausting. And I got a bit unwell in the middle of it. I think it was my body saying, “You’re meant to be asleep right now! You can’t stay up for this long!”
IF YOU GO
The Paper Kites
Where: Brick & Mortar Music Hall, 1710 Mission St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Nov. 14
Tickets: $12 to $15
Contact: (415) 800-8782, www.brickandmortarmusic.com