Singer Aswan North from Charlotte, NC, helped launch the "Improv Music Experience" where local musicians performed weekly at a downtown intersection for the homeless. From this loose collection North, Cody Blackler and Devin Forbes formed Paper Tongues.
Since Charlotte wasn't exactly the nexus of the music universe, North set out for L.A. with money contributed by friends and neighbors. Once there he wasn't shy. North played demos for producers, including Brian West, and even interrupted American Idol judge Randy Jackson's restaurant dinner to pitch him. Jackson checked out the group's MySpace page and became the their manager.
Paper Tongues self-titled debut, which was produced by West, Mark Endert (Maroon 5), John Fields (Switchfoot, Jimmy Eat World), and Nicolas Balachandran arrived in '10. The lead single, "Ride To California" was based on North's experiences traveling to the land of infinite possibilities.
2010 Paper Tongues
Usually, seven-member bands from the South either have three guitarists or a killer horn section. Paper Tongues own neither, favoring two guitars and two keyboardists. They produce a textured sound but it doesn't get in the way of the beats.
Unlike Rap/Metal, a mainstay in the '90's, Paper Tongues' Rap/Rock is more agile and lighter on its feet. "Ride To California" is good but set opener "Trinity" has more force and a catchy hook. They get a funky street vibe going on "Everybody" but can still turn in "What If," a straight-ahead Rock song.