From Power Pop To Science Folk | Patrick Ames: The Virtualistics (Independent / 16 June 2021)

From Power Pop To Science Folk
Patrick Ames: The Virtualistics
(Independent / 16 June 2021)

The Virtualistics by singer and songwriter Patrick Ames that should see you bouncing in your chair if not up on your feet. It's the kind of album where the songs sound familiar, with a fresh take from a singular point of view.

The eight songs were written during the pandemic by the Napa Valley-based artist, each one striking a hopeful and resilient note in the face of the chaos.

What links the tracks musically is an infectious rhythm, and a sense of invention that adds unexpected changes and turns in the melodies and harmonies.

Ames visits a number of musical styles, genres and eras through the eight tracks. Help People Up has a 70s soul groove and a psychedelic video to go along with it (below). Second Wave combines shades of New Wave with power pop. 

Harmony vocals add depth to the sound, with a softer edge than Ames' own raspy tenor. He adds interest with layers of vocal harmonies.

Rubber and Glue is a bluesy number, while the title alone of Great Bunch of Molecules showcases his humour in a science folk tune. As a songwriter, Ames excels at capturing catchy earworm riffs coupled with clever lyrics. 

Patrick Ames

He talks about the songs in a release.

"Lots of people love wine and the world of wine (tasting, collecting, etc) but few people get to live in the vineyard.  I live in one, and it is hauntingly beautiful. It's not like a cornfield...the vineyards are pampered and coaxed to produce, and the way they are watered, pruned, and picked is special. The land can be remotely wild, filled with animals and critters, and it can be very rural living there. The music that I write, and play, is not so much Americana as it is what I call Wine Country music: it's a mix of heady folk, basic rock, classic Motown, and choral music with an artistic and intellectual bent. Best heard with a glass of wine."

With wine or not, it's an interesting collection of new material from this creative artist.

1. Help People Up; 2. Second Wave; 3. Rubber and Glue; 4. Great Bunch of Molecules; 5. Essential Workers; 6. Songwriter's Block; 7. You Make Me Scream' 8. Reawakened 2020

Patrick Ames: rhythm guitars, vocals; Jon Ireson: Producer, bass, lead guitars, keyboards, Mix and Master; Chana Matthews: vocals; Mikaela Matthews: vocal

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