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Video of the Moment #2221: Esme Patterson

By on Friday, 11th November 2016 at 6:00 pm

You gotta love DIY artists that take it upon themselves to do pretty much everything themselves, putting their own unique stamp on it. Esme Patterson is releasing her new album ‘We Were Wild’ today on Xtra Mile Recordings, and the title track now has its own promo video. With scenes entirely on her iPhone, Patterson’s promo for the track reveals to all of us the beauty of the wildness of the Alaskan frontier. While perhaps not as playful as the past visuals in ‘Feel Right’, ‘We Were Wild’ the song sees Patterson going back to a more country, folk-y twang. Watch it below. For more of TGTF’s coverage on Esme Patterson, use this link.



Video of the Moment #2138: Esme Patterson

By on Wednesday, 13th July 2016 at 6:00 pm

Ex-Paper Bird co-founder and vocalist and now a solo singer/songwriter in her own right Esme Patterson has a new video out this week for ‘Feel Right’. The song figures on her current album ‘We Were Wild’, out now on Grand Jury. It’s the follow-up to her 2014 concept album ‘Woman to Woman’, which Carrie wrote about back here. In ‘Feel Right’, Patterson pretty much eschews the indie folk style that the beloved Paper Bird were famous for, diving headfirst into pop. The fun promo video to accompany the song sees Patterson bopping her head and entire body to the infectious rhythm of the song. Make this a hump day to remember and dance to the video below. For more of TGTF’s coverage of Esme Patterson, follow this link.



Single Review: Esmé Patterson – Tumbleweed

By on Thursday, 7th May 2015 at 12:00 pm

Singer/songwriter Esmé Patterson has recently released her new album ‘Woman to Woman’, which explores the perspective of female characters in classic popular songs, including Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ and the Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’. ‘Woman to Woman’ has already garnered radio play on BBC 6Music and attention from online publications such as The Guardian and The Quietus, as well as TGTF’s own earlier In The Post feature. The album’s next single, titled ‘Tumbleweed’, is Patterson’s take on Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Loretta’, which is the track that initially inspired the concept behind the record. Patterson explains:

“I was touring with my old band Paper Bird when we stopped in Spearfish, South Dakota and the venue had given us enough hotel rooms so that each of us could have our own. Alone time was a rare treat, and I decided to use the space to learn Townes Van Zandt’s ‘Loretta’ and was looking up the chords and the lyrics, and in the process started thinking about how one-sided it seemed. I imagined, “what would that woman, Loretta, say about him?” I gave up on learning Townes’ tune, and found my song ‘Tumbleweed’ rattling around in my heart somewhere. I finished it that night.”

‘Tumbleweed’ is a rebellious, uptempo track that imagines the fictional Loretta as defiant and strong-willed, in contrast to Van Zandt’s more objectified depiction. The song itself is sassy from its very outset, opening with a bending guitar riff and hand-clapping percussion over a heavy bass groove. Its initial lyrics attempt to capture Loretta’s true essence as Patterson cheekily intones “Well, you say you’ll be back in the spring / but I need a man like a tumbleweed / And I’ll keep my dancin’ shoes on long after you’re gone”. After a second verse retort about spending her man’s money and being treated roughly, Patterson’s Loretta gets to the heart of the matter in the bridge, asking “What about the way I want to be loved?”.


Esmé Patterson’s ‘Tumbleweed’ will be officially released on the 25th of May via Xtra Mile Recordings. Just below, you can view the video for another track from her ‘Woman to Woman’ LP, titled ‘What Do You Call a Woman?’. Released back in February, the track and its sexually provocative video comprise Patterson’s response to Michael Jackson’s 1982 hit ‘Billie Jean’.



In the Post #139: Esmé Patterson flips the perspective on pop music with concept album ‘Woman to Woman’

By on Wednesday, 17th December 2014 at 11:00 am

American singer/songwriter Esmé Patterson recently debuted the video for her new single ‘The Glow’, which will feature on her upcoming album ‘Woman to Woman’. The album was conceived as a response to the portrayals of female characters in popular songs such as Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ and Elvis Costello’s ‘Alison’. Patterson herself explains the origin and concept of the album this way: “I was learning to play a Townes Van Zandt song called “Loretta”, and I started thinking about how many songs were just a woman’s name, and how these women are frozen in time, and frozen as archetypes, frozen in black and white. And I thought they deserved to be coloured in.” Back in June, Patterson was invited to discuss her idea at Denver, Colorado’s TEDxMileHigh conference, where she played three songs from the album in addition to providing her commentary.


The lead track from ‘Woman to Woman’ is called ‘The Glow’, in reference to the classic Beach Boys song ‘Caroline, No’. It explains how life might have caused the fictional Caroline to “lose that happy glow”, as mentioned in Brian Wilson and Tony Asher’s original lyrics. Patterson’s counter-lyrics are somewhat brooding, but her musical treatment is optimistic, with a harmonic modulation near the end indicating that Caroline might just have the strength to move forward from her heartbreak.


The songs on ‘Woman To Woman’ were inspired by a wide stylistic range of popular artists, from early 20th century blues man Leadbelly to the aforementioned King of Pop. The track listing for the album is as follows (corresponding popular songs listed in parentheses):
1. Valentine (Elvis Costello – ‘Alison’)
2. Never Chase A Man (Dolly Parton – ‘Jolene’)
3. Oh Let’s Dance (The Kinks – ‘Lola’)
4. Tumbleweed (Townes Van Zandt – ‘Loretta’)
5. What Do You Call A Woman (Michael Jackson – ‘Billie Jean’)
6. The Glow (The Beach Boys – ‘Caroline, No’)
7. Louder Than the Sound (The Band – ‘Evangeline’)
8. Bluebird (The Beatles – ‘Eleanor Rigby’)
9. A Dream (Leadbelly – ‘Goodnight Irene’)
10. Wildflower (Bob Dylan – ‘To Ramona’)

Recently signed to Xtra Mile Records (the home of Frank Turner and To Kill a King), Patterson is due to release the ‘Woman to Woman’ LP worldwide on the 2nd of February 2015.

Rating for ‘The Glow’: 8/10


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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