Q&A with Esmé Patterson
Colorado's own Esmé Patterson is just about to release her third solo record, We Were Wild, and with upcoming tour dates until August to support, she's saying busier than ever. In her own words, We Were Wild is Patterson's best work to date, and we couldn't agree more - these twelve bright, high energy and introspective songs are the singer at her best. Catch Esmé Patterson at her tour kickoff in Denver at The Larimer Lounge on June 18th and read all about We Were Wild, out June 10th below!
Interview by Dom Vigil
You’re just getting ready to release your new album, We Were Wild on June 10th - can you tell us a little bit about it?
We Were Wild is my third solo record, I made it in my 30th year, and I feel like this group of songs defines a kind of circadian resonance, a triangulation, and I feel like it's my best work yet. It was also the most difficult process of making a record that I've ever experienced, but getting your ass kicked can be a great learning experience.
Was there anything you wanted to be able to accomplish with We Were Wild?
I wanted to pass on the joy and courage and peace that these songs gave me, in the time I've spent with them so far. I hope that these songs can be a friend to someone.
Are there any stories you were excited to tell with the album?
Adam Thompson, the producer of WWW, was such a blast to work with, the smartest and kindest dude, and also a really great chef. Some of my favorite memories of recording this album were starting a recording session early in the morning, usually pouring rain as Portland does in December, and Adam would show up with freshly baked bread that he made from scratch! And then he would produce the heck out of a song. It was amazing.
So far you’ve released “No River” and “Feel Right” from the album. What do these songs mean to you? Can you tell us a bit about them?
"No River" is a song about living with mistakes and regrets, admitting to yourself and to others that you are a human being, and you're not as bad or good as you think you are. You just are.
"Feel Right" is also about the battle between the ideas of right and wrong, asking in the chorus "without feeling wrong, how can we know what feels right?" In that I mean opposites need each other. Without darkness, there is no light.
With We Were Wild being your third solo release, how do you feel it compares to All Princes, I? How do you feel you’ve grown?
I listened to API recently, when I asked myself the same question you just asked me. I found that there was a lot in it that stood up over time, though not all, hahaha. I made that record four years ago, in what feels to me like another lifetime. My life has changed so completely from how it was then, and I feel and hear the twists and turns on the path between then and now in my new songs, and I see what bridges them and the distance apart. The specifics are a bit hard to explain, but I am proud of all the work I've done, in my solo project and beyond.
How did the writing and recording experience differ this time around?
I wrote this album in stages, groups of songs would come to me all at once, and then I'd be working on them for a few months and another flock would show up, and so on. I've never written like that before, it's either over years of writing or all in one mad week or month. The recording experience was intense but rewarding, and working with my producer Adam Thompson, and all the incredible musicians who played on the record, was an honor and a pleasure.
On top of the new album, you have a string of tour dates lined up for this summer - what are you most excited about on these upcoming dates?
I'm excited about going back to the south, it's been a while and I love it down there. New Orleans, Atlanta, f*ckin' Texas, let's party!
Do you have any other big plans for 2016?
I'm planning a trip to Alaska! No shows, just a vacation. It's the only state I haven't been to, and I hear the summers are really lovely.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you would like to add?