Originally posted on Emerge Magazine:
Sydney-based singer-songwriter, Patrick James has come a long way since he left the breezy shores of Port Macquarie in pursuit of a music career. Originally busking his way through Sydney’s streets, James has since managed to produce two EPs and several hit singles, but it wasn’t until he caught the attention of indie rock-folk band, Boy and Bear that doors really started opening up for him.
Fast forward to now and he’s mid way through a national tour with The Paper Kites and enjoying the launch of his debut LP Outlier, with another run of shows announced for February and March next year to celebrate its release. We spoke to him recently about the new album and his hectic schedule.
Having a headlining show and supporting act so close together might be daunting for some, but James says he and his band are quite used to traveling and the late nights. “We really enjoy playing music that’s the bottom line, we all want to be there and be doing it, which keeps the flame going”, says James.
It also helps to have long time friends, The Paper Kites to share the journey with. “I’m really stoked to tour with the guys from The Paper Kites. My first ever band tour was with them three years ago, so it’s cool to come full circle”.
“I guess I’ve been really lucky in that sense to make some good friends from touring and being asked to come on the road with them”, says James.
James’ music has always centred around a relaxed indie-folk harmony inspired by his coastal-living childhood. “Growing up I listened to a lot of acoustic music like the fairly typical Jack Johnson, Pete Murray and Ben Harper, but when I think about it that’s what the culture of Port Macquarie was like in a sense”.
Outlier is James’ first attempt at a full-fledged album and it certainly exceeds its soaring expectations. There’s a confidence in his vocal harmonies and instrumental arrangement, which demonstrates a maturity beyond his years in the industry.
“The album in a whole is a bit of a mixed bag, I wanted to make the first half of the record have a really uplifting triumphant sound, and I wanted to make the second half of the record have a melancholy kind of feel”, says James.
“I LIKED THE IDEA OF AN ALBUM TAKING A DRASTIC TURN. I THINK THAT WAS ACHIEVED BECAUSE I’VE BEEN PLAYING WITH A FULL BAND OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS AND I WAS ABLE TO SHAPE SONGS AROUND THE WAY THOSE GUYS WERE PLAYING.”
The singer-songwriter’s past two EPs, All About to Change (2013) and Broken Lines (2014) have been definite build ups to the lyricist’s new record. “I think there’s elements of each EP in the album, but it’s definitely a slight extension from that, especially in the sonic arrangement and production. The way I’m writing and the core of it are all coming from the same place, it’s sort of remained the same”.
“Bugs especially, is a song that I had for even longer than that and my fan-base wrapped their arms around it and would always sing it at shows. It was great to record that song and give it to the people who supported it from the start”.
You’d think after spending some months working on an album that James would be exhausted and want to take a bit of a breather, but he’s confessed he wants to get back into the studio and start recording again – despite needing to focus on the touring side of things now. “I’m always fiddling with ideas, a lot of songwriters are, we’re always looking for the next thing to keep everything fresh and new”, says James.
Tickets to Patrick James’ headline show are on sale now, check his Facebook page for more details. You can have a listen to James’ single Bugs below:
Story by Nizza Munoz