Listen to the sounds of the sea with Paper Islands’ debut EP

Claire Krugler, Author

If you are dying to hear more from that music duo that performed last week on the Quad, wait no longer!

The local duo Paper Islands debuted its first extended play album titled “The Striped Sea EP” last week, providing listeners with an edgy take on the unique genre of electro indie music.

Paper Islands, which formed February 2014 produces, writes and records all of their original music. The local duo consists of Palo Alto High School seniors Sally Wang and Fabian Garduño, who joined forces after working on solo projects previously.

“The Striped Sea EP” debuted on Sept. 18 performing selections from the album during lunch on the Paly Quad that day.

Despite having formed only recently, the duo has been successful, releasing two singles,“Evaporate” and “Survive,” which are both featured on its EP. “Evaporate” has received 1,145 listens on Soundcloud and “Survive” has received 980 listens so far, with the views increasing every day. They are currently in the top 20 charts under electronic music for bandcamp, an online music store that allows consumers to set their own price. Paper Islands has also performed at The Palo Alto Teen Arts Council’s open mic nights, Battle of the Bands and other local gigs around the Bay Area.

Wang and Garduño pose for a selfie while listening to friends who are in the band "Forever For a Second."
Wang and Garduño show their excitement by posing for a selfie while listening to friends who are in the band “Forever For a Second.” Photo by Sally Wang.

Their music is a combination of indie and electronic, also known as electro indie.

The first song titled “&” provides listeners with a simple melody with vocals by Wang. The lyrics send the message to be yourself and not care about what others think of you. “&” captures the essence of a short and sweet song, but with a big message.

The album continues, with the next song, “i miss you.” The song is a personal story of Paper Islands that they wanted to share with the public. The track uniquely incorporates a real-life breakup phone call between a girl leaving for college and her then-boyfriend and emphasizes the obstacles of having a long-distance relationship.

The conversation, according to Garduño, was recorded through a phone conference with permission. It’s full of emotion and all about the true feelings one gets when one has to let go to someone special in one’s life. The song is enhanced by sounds of the airport at the beginning and end of the song along with the phone conversation. Wang does an excellent job vocally, showcasing the emotions of desperation and sadness through her voice, to capture and embody what one feels during a breakup.

The final song, titled “Survive” was written and produced with Paly senior Will Kast. “Survive” is the perfect ending to the duo’s EP album. The hook is sampled from the National Nuclear Emergency Alert, which one would hear if the United States was under nuclear attack. To dramatize the song, a beat instantly drops once the message is over, and Wang’s vocals comes in with the beat. Even though the EP was released only a week ago, I’ve already found myself singing and humming along to the catchy tune.

Paper Islands performs on Sept. 5 at the Lucie Stern Community Center put on by Teen Art's Council. Photo by Adele Bloch.
Paper Islands performs on Sept. 5 at the Lucie Stern Community Center put on by Teen Art’s Council. Photo by Adele Bloch.

The overall theme of the album is the “songs of the sea,” which matches perfectly with the name of the duo, Paper Islands, and the title “Striped Sea EP.” According to Wang and Garduño, they feel a connection to the calmness, mystery and beauty of the ocean. Wang adds that the ocean’s constant changes inspire the duo’s music.

The EP can be played and downloaded above from the bandcamp, with a set-your-own price policy. If you would like to make a donation to Paper Islands enter as much as you would like donate, or simply enter zero to download for free. To stay posted and updated with Paper Islands check out their Facebook, Soundcloud and Youtube.

Paper Islands’ next event is at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15 at Angelicas in Redwood City.