‘Paper Tigers’, Øyvind Holm’ new single out today

Photo: Olga Bushueva/IHTLNY

Atmospheric stripped down sound, magnificent strings, Indian instruments and as always brilliant songwriting – ‘Paper Tigers’ the second single from Øyvind Holm’ upcoming album ‘The Paradox of Laughing’ out now on all streaming services! Don’t forget to check out the music video for the new single as well!

In addition to Holm’ regular band of Alexander Pettersen on guitars, Pål Brekkås on bass, keyboards, percussion, vocals, Thomas Henriksen on keyboards and Arve Gulbrandsen on drums, on ‘Paper Tigers’ you’ll hear Kirsti Huke on vocals, Mari Persen on strings and Hans Hadders on sitars, tabla drums and a tambura.

“Compared to the previous single, ‘Paper Tigers’ is probably more stripped down and subdued. The instrumentation is primarily acoustic”, Øyvind Holm is saying about the new single. “Lyrically, the song is perhaps also of the pensive kind. A paper tiger represents a kind of metaphor for fears and worries that when you really think rationally about them aren’t that dangerous. Usually things that are beyond your control anyway. Still, small thoughts and worries that grow big enough to keep you awake at night. Also weaved into all of this a growing awareness of your own impermanence.

I felt right from the start that “Paper Tigers” was one of the songs that cried out for some kind of string arrangement. We sent a rough mix of the track over to Mari Persen, along with a few thoughts and suggestions. A few weeks later she returned these magnificent, almost Disney-like strings, that for me really just lifted everything up into goosebump heaven. 

The idea of including Indian instruments came because the first takes we did of ‘Paper Tigers’  had a slower, more drony feel. Probably, the overall atmosphere of the song made me think of late 60s psychedelic folk and pop music. Music that helped shaped me when I first started out writing my own stuff. We googled a bit, to see if we could find someone who played the sitar here in Trondheim. Somehow, I came across Hans Hadders name, and by some crazy coincidence he turned out to be Pål’s next door neighbor. Hans added sitars, tabla drums and a tambura.

Regarding the video: I had noticed that i.a. artists like Jonathan Wilson had used AI to animate videos for his latest singles. So, to avoid having yet another video of myself in it, I invested a few bob into an AI service that felt looked decent. I fed it with lyrics and appropriate prompts. After some tweaking back and forth, I had three different video proposals that I cut together into one. I do think the animations capture the atmosphere of the song really well.”

‘Paper Tigers’
Recorded at Brygga Studio
Produced by Pål Brekkås
Mastered by Magnus Kofoed / Øra Mastring

Listen to ‘Paper Tigers’ here: