Esmé Patterson is a singer-songwriter from Denver.
Last time we caught up with Esmé she tantalised us with the promise of a SoundCheck session, and a demonstration of her songwriting prowess in person. And prowess, judging by her first album, is apt; the dialectical Woman to Woman was inspired by popular songs written about women, with Patterson reimagining their stories from the perspective of the women in question. Patterson’s Eleanor Rigby, for example, rejects the image of the lonely spinster portrayed by Paul McCartney, in favour of a character positively unafraid of a grave for one.
But it’s her latest creation from which, true to her promise, she played us two of her songs. As suggested by its name and cover art – depicting Patterson from the neck up, in tethered collar and chain – We Were Wild clings thematically to the eternal struggle between wildness and culture and of the self-enforced limitations domestication sets on our more visceral desires. In exploring this theme, Esmé comes to understand and accept this knowledge, releasing a sense of untameable freedom that courses through the album in cajoling gambol.
The opener for our session (and the album), “Feel Right”, tugs at this chord.
Afterwards, Esmé sang “No River”, which, with lyrics that use the natural world as a foil for human sensibilities (“I’m no fire/ But, I, I won’t kill you”), weaves a winding tapestry with little more than the warp and weft of her voice.
W/ – esmepatterson.com