The Patrick James story is one of those really nice ones that come around every once in a while as he slowly ascends the arc from Port Macquarie to busking on the streets of Sydney, a successful EP followed by iTunes chart hits.
And now, his debut album, a neatly combined selection of songs that feature beautiful musical settings, strong melodies and smooth harmonies.
Evocative and instantly appealing, these songs are poignant, quietly elusive and plaintively sung, with James’ voice possessing a heart-stirring higher register tone not unlike the extremely likeable Passenger.
California Song has a chorus that is a moment of sheer poetry, displaying a sense of genuine dislocation mixed with unhurried optimism, while Kings And Queens is a breathtakingly haunting performance of just voice and piano.
After its almost daunting starkness, the positivity of Covered In Rain’s ascending chord progression comes as quite a welcome shift, but there’s still plenty of brooding drama in the arrangement as drums and strums crunch together.
There’s a lovely sense of space in all these songs’ arrangements, in fact, and a lot of thought has been put into their construction to achieve maximum effect.
On the strength of this, Patrick James is an artist to look out for - his songs unveil an oak-aged wisdom that belies his age, and his compelling knack for a tuneful melody make for a talent that’s easy to embrace.
Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.