Written by Lauren Rosier
Californian singer/songwriter, Patrick Ames, shares his new record, Liveness. The 6-song set is a collection of songs that touch upon various subjects from weddings to politics.
Ames’ delivers a real, honest spoken-word song the EP’s opener, “Bang, Bang, Bang.” The song is about how “hate is now endorsed by politicians” and how certain people want to “make America great again.” He truly touches upon some serious topics happening in our country. He asks “do homeless people have homeless dreams? That can’t be woken by this society.”
The second track, “I Want You (Bossa Nova)”, opens with this lo-fi background on the keys with Ames singing “I want you/I want what we had/when we had what we did/and we did what we wanted/and we wanted one another/I want you…”
Throughout the EP, it’s difficult to determine the difference between his singing voice and speaking voice.
On the track “Just Before I Said I Do (Wedding Song)”, Ames sings to a significant other and sings about their wedding and the vows on their wedding day. The dynamics could be more pronounced and significant to give the song more depth. In fact, dynamics could better throughout the entire EP.
On “Slow Dancing”, Ames tells a story about his childhood. “As I hid and watched my parents/they were slow dancing/they had made a space/in a crowded living room…” The instrumentation is a little more varied compared to other songs like “I Want You (Bossa Nova)”.
The last track on the album, “Want To Believe,” is probably my favorite song on the record. Ames sings a little bit on this song and it shows off the grittiness and rawness of his singing voice.
Overall, the EP has some seriously great tracks from “Bang, Bang, Bang” to “Want To Believe”, but I would love to hear how he can expand his sound into different genres and deliver more diversity.
“Patrick‘s ethos for the Liveness album was to convey the energy of live performance so, from a mixing standpoint, we sought to leave in all the quirks and personality, particularly of the acoustic guitar. Strings twang and squeak, voices strain and break but it all works together to make for a more soulful record. Patrick is weaving together several different styles on this album, from bossa nova to slow jam to Gil-Scott Heron-inspired funk. The trick was to find that through-line to tie it all together and in the end, it was that “liveness”, that raw authenticity, that makes it feel like a cohesive record.” stated the sound engineer, Jon Ireson, for Liveness.
Ames would definitely go alongside artists like Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, or Gil Scott Heron.
Connect with Patrick Ames