Paper City Exile

Doeleman and Silverman, both 17, head into their senior year at PVPA this fall. Conway, 16, is a rising junior. If more of us had formed bands as promising as Paper City Exile before getting our driver’s licenses, the Valley would be a far cooler place. For now, it’s a pleasure to show up for a band like this — well past finding its feet, and headed full-bore into sonic expansion.

Paper City Exile plays the Westfield Fair at 11 a.m. on Aug. 21 and the Celebrate Holyoke music festival in Heritage Park at 3 p.m. on Aug. 27. Living in the Know is available primarily by digital download via Facebook and ReverbNation.

Contact Hunter Styles at


Review for "The Colour of Vinyl" by Jess Boswell


With such an extensive catalogue of music out online already, it is increasing becoming more and more difficult to make a name for yourself, especially while still being students. Paper City Exile have already made themselves a solid following, which is particularly evident over on their Reverb Nation page, occupying the top spot on the South Hadley, MA, US charts on the site.

Their individual alternative style sounds crisp and defined, influenced by classic indie rock artists such as Elvis Costello and Dinosaur Jr. When checking their music catalogue, there’s an engrossing alternative vibe that alike to the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Royal Blood.

Their newest release comes in the form of the self-titled LP ‘Paper City Exile’, compiled of nine songs and introducing five never heard before tracks. Shared online earlier this month, the LP can be streamed through Spotify, iTunes and Reverb Nation. The group of songs amalgamate together fluidly and sound superbly produced, demonstrating what the band have in store.

Treat Her Right/Brought You Down’ is the newest single from the group, with fast beats, exciting solos and classical rock vocals that is both gritty and smooth. The chord progressions in ‘Moxie’ are reminiscent of the clean, sharp riffs from Band of Skulls, whilst still pulling off their own style of modern, new-age indie twists.

For their young age, this American trio are set for great future and deserve extra commemoration for their unique sound that lays down vibes from everything from old-school punk to contemporary rock and blues.

–Jess Boswell

Jess Boswell

Review by Staff Writer Hunter Styles 

for The Valley Advocate

​​​​"Exile on High Street"

Young rockers Paper City Exile play Holyoke.

Musicians, like all of us, hold a few personal details close to the chest. For local rockers Paper City Exile, the little secret is hardly a secret: the three of them are still in high school. That’s bound to surprise many of the listeners who check out the band’s new EP, Living in the Know. The thick guitar riff and snapping drum line that open the first track, “Still Smiling,” set a mood that’s both gritty and crisp, like upbeat Nirvana with a dash of The Kinks.

Better yet, we might call them “Dinosaur Jr, Jr.” Singer Dan Conway’s vocals, while clear and on-point, eschew that dripping classic-rock drawl put to such good use by J Mascis. But that’s just fine, since the five songs on Living in the Know serve to push at the edges of old standards. Is it too soon for a second wave of ’90s alternative rock? Apparently not.

Anyone who grew up singing along to “Feel the Pain” on cassette tape will get where this trio is coming from in their opening few songs, but stick around for “What I Meant,” a spare, soft-spoken track that would make Sufjan Stevens proud, and for “Good Company,” which lays down some seriously crunchy Pearl Jam vibes while Conway fashions a tenor take on Eddie Vedder’s signature moan. “Time will tell if you make it/ I can’t pull you out if you take it,” sings Conway. “No one knows me quite like you do/ I am one who’d fight my way through.”

I’d venture that no one knows these band mates quite like each other, even though they met just a couple of years ago — all three now attend the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts school (PVPA) in Hadley. Conway, who plays guitars and keyboards in addition to singing, says that meeting bassist Zeno Doeleman and drummer Jackson Silverman changed his life.

“We really hit it off,” Conway says, describing the ‘why not?’ attitude the trio brought to their first rehearsal. “By the end of that session, we all decided that this was meant to be. We got really lucky there.”

The band recorded Living in the Know at home, then mixed and mastered the EP with Justin Pizzoferrato at Sonelab in Easthampton. Paper City Exile also has a new single out called “Watch Your Step,” plus a full-length album in the works.

What about that band name? Conway says that his family had lived in Holyoke since the city’s founding in the mid-1800s, but that his father broke with tradition by moving to South Hadley — hence the exile.

​Dan Conway, Jackson Silverman, and Zeno Quinn are Paper City Exile, a young trio residing from Western Massachusetts. The group attend the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School, pursuing their musical aspirations, making their impact on the Boston music scene and expanding their audiences across the globe.