Dirty Dozen: Esme Patterson

Esme Patterson, Esmé made a name for herself with 2014’s Woman To Woman, an album of ‘answer songs’ written from the perspective of women such as Jacko’s ‘Billie Jean’ and Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ (more on all that at this piece Esmé wrote for the Guardian). Esmé also collaborated on Shakey Graves’ hit ‘Dearly Departed’, performing in the U.S. on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
I’m from Colorado, a couple of years ago I moved to Portland, Oregon. Back in Colorado I played in a few bands while still making my solo albums, but the time came for me to focus all of my energy on my own art, so I moved away and started work on my third solo album which is being released on Nov 11th!

How would you describe your music?
My music is constantly evolving, but lately it floats between heavy, loud, dreamy rock and roll and tender but upbeat pop with a dash of r&b.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
I am inspired by nature, and lots of different mediums of art. I feel like my music is influenced by my environment, both interior and exterior. I have never intentionally made music that aims to sound like another kind of music, i just write what’s in my heart and try to make it sound good.

What are you currently promoting?
My newest album We Were Wild comes out November 11. It is my third record, and in my opinion, (by far) my best yet.

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
I’m particularly proud of my song “No River”, though I struggle with using the word “proud” because I don’t feel like I can really take credit for the songs that I write, it feels like they move thru me, like I’m a conduit. That song, though, was an achievement for me personally because I had gone thru some dark times and done the internal work to come to a place of peace and acceptance of myself and of the nature of existence, really. It’s a song about the struggles and transcendent joys wrapped up in being a human.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve really been loving the new Frank Ocean album and Margaret Glaspy’s new album.

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
“Astral Weeks” by Van Morrison

What are your hopes for your future career?
I hope to continue to make the music that I hear in my heart and hand it out to people. I hope to keep making art that i believe in and that inspires others. I hope I never have to get a day job again.

If money were no object what would be your dream project?
Touring outer space. i guess money isn’t the only limiting factor to this idea…

What’s the best thing about being a musician?
Being able to make the art that is in my heart and mind a reality and share it with other people, it’s such a transcendent feeling of connection. I believe that’s what all of us want, at the core of our beings, is to be heard.

And the worst?
being broke all the time? haha. i’ve been so broke for so long tho, i’m pretty good at it by now…

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
Thanks for reading all this! and if you’re ever at one of my shows (like the tour with Frank Turner!) please come say hi, I always sell my own merch cause I love to meet the people that dig my music and thank them in person.

 

Author: Rudie Humphrey

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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