Patrick Ames - Liveness
(Independent / 4 April 2020)
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Techno-minimalism meets poetic lyrics, with a rhythm and groove thrown into the mix - that's the recipe for veteran Bay Area DIY musician Patrick Ames on his upcoming release Liveness.
The 6-track EP features Ames at his idiosyncratic best, switching up genres between the synth pop/spoken word anti-NRA of Bang Bang Bang and the electro-Bossa Nova I Want You, with its plaintive lyrics. Just Before I Said I Do reaches back into vintage rock musically, with a creepy kind of edge.
Just before we dressed in white,
I whispered in your ears...
I really, really do,
I really, really love you,
Just before I said I do.
He mines nostalgia again in Slow Dancing, a song about watching his parents dancing to the oldies. Want to Believe is a remix of one of his songs from an earlier album, a bluesy song with a heavy does of soul against lyrics about soulless technology.
Chana Matthews and Mikaila Matthews (a mother-daughter duo) add lovely harmonies to Ames' raspy vocals.
Ames is a classic DIY recording artist who accents his DIY recording techniques with lots of live mics. "It's was like recording the process of songwriting," he says in a media release.
Much of Ames's professional life has been in technical book publishing, which accounts for his storytelling lyrics.
"Book publishing is exactly like being a music producer. The end product is a finished work of communication, and the path from early inspiration to finish is a drug. And you keep doing it to get the drug. Writing songs is like writing poems, only with more tools at your disposal: you have melody, rhythm, human voices, syncopation, and on and on. Songs can become these extraordinary 3D poems. And I think a good LP/EP is just like a book, with songs like chapters, and all these themes criss-crossing."
Patrick Ames: Guitars, midi-guitar synth, vocals; Chana Matthews: vocals; Mikaila Matthews: vocals
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