‘Paper Paradise’ by Margo Raats. Alt-Pop voyage of modern love and urban life

"Love in the city can feel so disposable. Paper paradise is the perfect reflection of the overall theme of the EP"
7 June 2024
Photo by Roj Ferman

Belgium-born, London-based alt-pop sensation Margo Raats has finally dropped her long-awaited EP, Paper Paradise, and it’s nothing short of captivating. Get lost in Raats’ aural kaleidoscope, where romantic mishaps and metropolitan monotony take center stage. Her songs unravel the enigmas of youthful passion and the humdrum of city existence.

At the heart of Paper Paradise lies a raw and unfiltered narrative of Raats’ twenty-something journey. How do you build something real in a world where profiles are wiped clean and ghosting is a norm? Raats takes on the fragile landscape of modern dating, where genuine connections are scarce. Tracks like Ocean Lights and Crying In The Taxi paint a vivid picture of love found and lost amidst the bustling cityscape, each melody echoing with emotional depth and resonance.

Raats’ introspective side takes center stage in the EP’s lead single, Paper Paradise, a hauntingly beautiful reflection of their innermost thoughts. In the still of night, she crept into her bedroom, instrumental emotions coursing through her veins. This fragile love song, born of insomnia, is a bittersweet serenade to the fleeting moments of urban love.

Photo by Roj Ferman

Raats reveals: “I wrote the song in my bedroom at night when I couldn’t sleep. I just pressed record on my phone and freestyled the song. I ended up pretty much keeping the original form from that night. It felt like it was something I needed to write and came so naturally to me. Love in the city can feel so disposable. Paper paradise is the perfect reflection of the overall theme of the EP”.

With Finish Line, Raats finishes strong, inspiring listeners to recognize their own value and push past self-doubt, ultimately embracing their capacity for love.

Get an insider’s perspective on the making of Paper Paradise as Raats recounts the driving forces behind the EP’s diverse sonic tapestry. From the depths of the city’s clubs to the morning-after despair, she channels the nighttime highs and lows into songs that crave connection, that yearn to be understood. In Bergen, Raats’s artistic lens zeroes in on the untouched, laying bare the loveliness in unpolished moments.

Photo by Roj Ferman

Raats explains: “Paper Paradise is a collection of songs I wrote over the last year. I took the 6 songs to Dan and I finished the EP together. The overall theme of the 6-track EP is finding love in the city’s nightlife. I think we live in a time where love can feel so disposable and lonely, it sounds so beautiful and idealistic, almost old-school Disney like with some scary dark and sharp moments. Sonically I wanted to include this as much as possible. The artwork is taken in Bergen, and it’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. I didn’t want the picture to be edited because it’s capturing nature in such a breathtaking way. Roj helped me to bring the vision alive and we played around, this picture was just a try out of me dancing. I think paper paradise, as disposable as it sounds, I wanted something real and something that felt alive.”

Belgium-born and London-bred, Raats’ relentless passion for music weaves a narrative that pulses with the resilience she’s developed over the years. From humble beginnings performing at open mic nights to studying Songwriting at BIMM Institute, Raats has honed her craft with unwavering dedication. Drawing inspiration from the legends – The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, and Fleetwood Mac – she’s forged a distinctive path in alt-pop. Her productions transport listeners to hazy, atmospheric realms, often punctuated by candid lyrics that strike a nerve.

From out of nowhere, Raats has risen to the top, with her red-hot music garnering oodles of love from streaming fans and radio folks who can’t get enough. You can’t blame the folk at Spotify and BBC Radio 1 for betting big on Raats – the artist’s eclectic style has got people hooked, transcending borders and earning fans worldwide. With accolades piling up and tour performances alongside industry heavyweights like Tom Grennan and Liam Bailey, Raats is poised to make her mark on the music scene.

Margo Raats crafts songs that are portraits of her soul, where fragility and strength converge, and the genuine article is the only thing that resonates.