Photograph by Amber Herrera.

Photograph by Amber Herrera.

The Album

Elements of post-rock, electronica and indie pop merge with catchy vocal melodies over rich beds of piano and otherworldly ambiance in this relentless collection of intimate contemplations and mythic imagery in the form of a concept album.
  • "I have not listened to an album that hit me as hard as this one."  —The Jailhouse
  • "...nothing short of absolutely gratifying....Hitchcock’s music has an inevitable beauty....a sense of yearning bleeds through so many tracks."  —Ear to the Ground
  • "....deep meaning and a genuine sense of heart that captures the rawness of human emotion.  ...a true musical experience...of lyrical poetry...and pure talent."  University of Arkansas’ student press, The Arkansas Traveler
  • "...the real treat is Hitchcock's voice....you can tell what these songs mean to him."  —Baeble Music
  • "[Contains] the same grandiose allure of a band like Coldplay."  —The Equal Ground

The Story

Paper Anthem is the brainchild of Fayetteville, Arkansas twenty-something Joseph Hitchcock.  Though the name Paper Anthem wasn't chosen till 2014, the project began as an emotional outlet in November 2013 when Hitchcock first started playing shows to mostly empty bars. Nowadays, the bars aren't so empty.
 
Hitchcock has been making music for as long as he can remember, first taking piano lessons at the age of six. From there he learned to play the guitar and found his voice and, after dabbling in roles in other bands here and there, decided it was time to work on some of his personal material. 

Though the songs on By Ghosts weren't written to connect as an album, they were conceived during a particularly susceptible period in Hitchcock's life. His subconscious had found a way to abstractly bottle his thoughts and emotions.  Looking at the album as a whole, however, consistent themes emerge and become readily apparent.  Born in Arkansas, he says also that feeling stuck in small towns has forced him to imagine grander imagery through his lyrics. 

Taking inspiration from a diverse range of artists (everyone from Vast to Tom Vek, Foals to Snow Patrol, Tegan & Sara to Eno), Hitchcock fuses elements of pop, big beat electronica, piano rock, and even math rock. "Some of my songs are inspired by the way two guitars often work together in math rock, but done on piano instead with my two hands" he says.
 
"When I was a teenager, I listened to a lot of drum and bass and big beat electronica, and I think the way those songs add instruments one-by-one and build influenced me greatly, because I find myself doing that on songs like 'Cardboard Cove', 'Pantheon', and 'Speechless'."







 
Cover art by Lucian Stanculescu.

Cover art by Lucian Stanculescu.