Carpet of Horses is the music of Canadian-born songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Tobin James Stewart. The project began as an excuse for making music in a Toronto bedroom around 2005, and since then has morphed into what it is now: a recording project playing host to an evolving stream of friends and collaborators, stretching over three continents. A move overseas in 2008 brought the project to a new home in Berlin, and before long the first Carpet of Horses release, a modest, self-titled EP was put out into the world (Carpet of Horses, 2011). Two more EPs were released the following year (Mountains/Dust, 2012, & It's Only Light, 2012) and at the outset of 2013, work began on what would become the project's first full-length record: Red Paper Flames. The songs materialized that winter during a stay in Northern Italy, where Tobin and his wife relocated for the delivery of their first child.
Following the birth of an infant son, several fragments of music came to life, whispered on an acoustic guitar deep in the night; lullabies to soothe the newborn boy between bouts of broken sleep. But as those song fragments entered the studio back in Berlin, they took on new forms. The return to city life began to permeate the recording process, and what started out as a collection of formless lullabies was soon turned on its head. The music was warped and broken apart before ultimately being crafted into a seamless LP of demented, psych-folk-pop tunes. The bulk of Red Paper Flames was recorded inside a former horse stable in Wedding - a suburb of Berlin's north-end. Midnight recording sessions across town became a habitual part of life; though the trials of parenthood and the weight of a nowhere job often led them to feel more like the determined meanderings of a crazy person. Red Paper Flames is dedicated to Elijah.