Paper Wings is an interesting act, a duo composed of two young friends, whose sound crosses a number of roots and acoustic music categories. Emily Mann and Wilhelmina Frankzerda are separated by more than 2,000 miles, with one in Nashville and the other on the California coast. But they find opportunities to get together to perform and record the music they love, which is deeply influenced by the Appalachian tradition.
Emily and Wilhelmina both sing, and swap out fiddles, banjos, and guitars as they create an understated old time vibe, built on their own original compositions. They like to describe themselves as a new old-fashioned acoustic duo, but the delicacy of their arrangements gives it a special grace. One could easily imagine them as a pair of demure young ladies playing in a mid-19th century parlor, based on the music alone. But I would expect that they are thoroughly modern girls, merely walking in their foremothers’ footsteps.
Here’s a video of one of their songs, Seven Miles, the opening track on their short-form, self-titled debut album which was released earlier this year.