ESME PATTERSON – ” The River “

Posted: February 14, 2017 in MUSIC
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The third album from singer-songwriter Esmé Patterson keeps pulling you in directions you might not expect – musically, emotionally and even physically. Opening track “Feel Right” bops around like a dance-mad Sixties rock & roll ’45, with its rocket guitar flares, and sprinting bass, if she sounds full of revved-up pip the lyrics don’t sound so sure: “how can we know what feels right? / no one wants to feel something don’t feel right,” she sings. These kinds of juxtapositions happen all over the subtly charming LP, where cute throwbacks always come with complications to work through. “No River” recalls Sixties soul as Patterson balances easy-flowing natural imagery with self-determination, singing “I can’t keep running / I’m no river.” “Wanting Ain’t Getting” tenderly evokes sad classic country, with lyrics that wander a mirrored hall of tense romantic unease. Patterson’s mix of slyly stark self-analysis and Sixties beat may remind some of Cat Power’s The Greatest or the retro-rootiness of Caitlin Rose, so will the spare, acoustic “Guadalupe.” But the mood is less dire, even when the stakes are high, with Patterson’s singing, more aspirational  pushing through apprehension: “Funeral dress don’t fit you right?” she wonders, offering something much more fun on the gingerly springy garage-pop pick-me-up “Come See Me.”

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