Recommended Tracks: “dear god”, “being broken”, “look at you now”
Artists You May Like: Ed Sheeran, Mat Kearney, Niall Horan
Occasionally, I like to think back to what life was like 20 years ago, before social media was a thing, before the cell phone and mp3 player converged into one device, before the words “selfie” and “face time” were invented… In many ways, it was an easier time, as people could just focus on themselves or on each other without all the distraction. After the release of his debut album last year, nobody likes you pat felt a need to cut out all the dramatic effects and built-up production for his future endeavors, focusing more on his roots. The result is his new EP dear…, which features a stripped-back sound and lyrics that read out like love letters to friends and family.
For the first portion of the project, we get two tracks that show us how Pat views the world and the friends in his life. The opening track, “dear god,” is a warm and genial offering that finds Pat seeking guidance from a higher power. Despite its religious title, the track is not a worship-type song or any type of song that focuses heavily on prayer. Instead, it plays out as if Pat is venting to a friend about the problems he observes around him, his failures, and his doubts. Over the blissfully unaware sound of whistles and acoustic guitar strums, he sings, “Dear God, it must really probably suck that nobody ever asks how you’ve been” and “I don’t really understand / Why you’d ever lend a hand / We’re all so messed up, it’s just sad / But you do,” finding a bit of comfort between all that is said. After getting these thoughts out of his head, he then gives gratitude to his friends with “what a good friend is for.” With a similar acoustic guitar-driven sound and various sing-along melodies as “dear god,” the track is another pleasant number. He acknowledges those who call you “an asshole when you’re probably being one” and who check up on you “three times a day when you’ve been having thoughts.” Friendships are tough to maintain because of these kinds of tests, which prompts Pat to sing, “Oh / People come and people go and life goes on / Oh / Maybe some are meant to stick around when the rest are gone.” If you didn’t feel like calling or texting your close friends before hearing this track, you definitely will be in the mood after.
The middle of the EP gives us “folding your clothes” and “being broken.” Taking us to that special time of day when the laundry comes out of the dryer and needs to be put away, “folding your clothes” is a gentle reflection on those we hold close. Pat found there is a connection between relationships and the way that clothes take on the messes in life and are then cleaned up and tucked away. He sings, “Sometimes the fabric tears and it fades / And the wrinkles won’t iron away / But I remember that I love you most / When I’m folding your clothes.” Deviating from the light pings and strums heard on the track, “being broken” leans out of the singer-songwriter realm. It embraces a little more texture with its heavy downbeats and pop groove, threatening to obfuscate the meaning of the lyrics. Throughout the track, Pat touches on his own demons and the way they work to bring him down, admitting that he is tired of this charade. He sings, “How many more nights till I feel okay / Feels like infinity” and “Yeah, you can say I’m being dramatic / That I’m just way clingy like static / That I’m too soft like some satin / But the memories leave me empty-handed,” speaking to others who have the same issues.
On the last part of dear…, Pat brings it all home with his family. On “dashboard (loved by you),” Pat realizes that the love he gives and receives to his family is the most valuable. Accompanied by acoustic guitar and light piano, he observes, “I used to want it all / To fill my empty soul / But now my only hope is to be loved by you.” It is a standout on the EP due to its careful nature and slower tempo, qualities that make it a nice predecessor to the closing track, “look at you now.” After hearing tracks that focus more on the past and the present, “look at you now” changes things up and concentrates on the future. Pat dedicates this track to his children, addressing the ways he likes to watch them color or admitting that he absolutely hates stepping on Legos. Wanting them to understand how much he loves them, he sings, “I hope one day you’ll look back and see the way I look at you now,” leaving them something that they can return to in the future.
All in all, dear… is more than a collection of earnest love letters to those in Pat’s life. While the project is specific to those who have been there for him, listeners can find their own experiences in the songs. If there is something that needs to be said to a friend or a neighbor, a sister or a cousin, and you can’t find the words, dear… has got you covered. Pat wants these songs to be shared, to help those “who are hurting, going through things, and need hope, peace, or maybe even confrontation.” With their relatable lyrics and easy-listening vibes, dear… is a friendly body of work that does its part without trying too hard. Like a good letter you love to read over and over, it is easy to return to again and again.
For now, you can listen to dear… on platforms like Spotify, SoundCloud, and Apple Music.