There's a vibrance to the current music of Esmé Patterson that I wasn't expecting, having listened to her previous band Paper Bird. Gone are the banjos and remnants of folk music, and in their place are electric guitars — sometimes fierce and, here at the Tiny Desk, somewhat understated. She's a relative newcomer to the guitar, making it part of her songwriting only since leaving Paper Bird. But all of this instrumentation is meant to be supportive, not center-stage. At the heart of these songs, from her album We Were Wild, is a reach for independence:
I can't sit still 'cause I'm no mountain
I can't sit so still 'cause I'm no mountain
I can't sit still forever, I'm no mountain
I'm human, I'm human
If there's a thread that ties Patterson's songs together, it's discovering who you are and standing strong. She's doing that well — with a powerful and sensitive band that's got her back.
- "No River"
- "Wantin Ain't Gettin"
- "Yours And Mine"
Esmé Patterson (vocals, guitar); Alex Koshak (drums); Jeremy Averitt (bass); Jake Miller (lead guitar)
Producers: Bob Boilen, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Morgan Noelle Smith, Bronson Arcuri; Production Assistant: A Noah Harrison; Photo: Marian Carrasquero/NPR.
For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast.