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Esmé Patterson's latest offers a certain otherworldliness 

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Since leaving Denver ensemble Paper Bird in 2015, Esmé Patterson has displayed: an eclectic oddball side in her debut album, a consideration for literary women heroes in a special EP, and a kinky rock persona in her 2016 album We Were Wild, while also collaborating with such roots musicians as Shakey Graves and William Whitmore. Her latest, There Will Come Soft Rains (BMG), name-checks a Ray Bradbury story, though its otherworldliness does not come from sci-fi landscapes. The lyrics feature strong, concrete imagery of new love and lost love, wrapped in shimmering arrangements.

Patterson turned to Tennis (Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley) for production and engineering, which brought mature production values but also a certain distance. They applied the echoing reverb sounds of Tennis, which sometimes work well. But when Patterson performed at Ivywild School last October, there was a crispness in the sound that is missing here. The answer is to see her live, or to anticipate a possible “acoustic demos” version. In the meantime, there’s plenty to whet the appetite.


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