CREATIVITY is believed by some to be at its peak between midnight and 4am.
It is a theory Sam Bentley, the key songwriter and frontman of Melbourne indie folk five-piece The Paper Kites, had discussed with his bandmates after watching a documentary that put the theory forward.
Intrigued by the idea, Bentley decided to put it to the test. He set aside two months, during which he spent each night writing songs between midnight and 4am to create the follow-up to the band's 2013 debut album, States.
The Paper Kites' keyboardist, guitarist and vocalist Christina Lacy says Bentley has always eagerly explored new methods in his approach to songwriting.
"I wasn't really surprised when he put the idea to us because he's quite interested in the different ways that people write and always looking to challenge the way that he writes and find things that can help him write more creatively," Lacy says.
"When you're tired and a bit sleep-deprived, you have less inhibitions and you're writing whatever comes - you're less guarded."
The experiment produced 30 songs from which the band chose 10 to record for the album, twelvefour.
The dreamy, late-night feel of the songwriting process is evident throughout the recording - and Lacy says their fans have noticed too.
"It's funny because a lot of people have said to us after they hear about the concept 'Yeah it does have that sort of late-night sound to it' and I think that's the same as how we felt when we listened to it," she says.
"There was some stuff on the demos where you couldn't necessarily hear that night-time sound but maybe they were just very different or a little bit more abstract and it made you think 'That kind of sounds like something Sam would write in the middle of the night when he's deliriously tired'.
"The songs that made it on to the album have that midnight feel and maybe even a bit of a romantic, dreamy feel to them."
The Paper Kites - which also features David Powys (guitar/banjo), Sam Rasmussen (bass/synth), and Josh Bentley (drums) - was formed in 2010 in Melbourne by Lacy and Bentley, who began playing music together in high school.
Since the release of the debut EP, 2011's Woodland, the band's profile has steadily risen, paving the way for a high-profile support slot across the United States opening for Canada's City & Colour, as well as their own headline tour across the US.
The album twelvefour took the band back to the US to a studio in Seattle where they recorded with producer Phil Ek (Fleet Foxes, Manchester Orchestra) who helped shape the evolution of the band's sound which embraces their folk roots with atmospheric, synth-based sounds.
Released in August, the album climbed to No.8 on the ARIA album chart.
"It's always a really great feeling to finally be able to release something into the world that you've been working really hard on," Lacy says. "But also it obviously comes with a bit of anxiety as well hoping that people are going to enjoy it. Each album is always going to be a little bit different from the last and you just hope that people will be open minded to hearing the way that the sound grows and develops. Thankfully, we've had an awesome response."
The Paper Kites perform at Lizotte’s on November 5. The show is sold out.