Recommended Tracks: “Patterns,” “Know Me Yet,” “Guilty”
Artists You may Like: James Bay, Jeremy Zucker, Charlie Puth
Most of us fall into patterns, whether we realize it or not. If you go to school or work on a daily basis, you have a set pattern of being on campus or at your job for a certain amount of time and then leaving only to return the next day. If you have a career that takes you from one city to another, you have a pattern of travelling and not staying in one place. Maybe a pattern shows up in your love life, from the people you date to the habits you form in a relationship. Patterns are all around us, and they can be enduring, full of love, or tied to complex emotions. These are the patterns that Reading-based singer-songwriter Etham tells us on his highly anticipated EP, Patterns.
On Patterns, Etham gives us two vignettes about what it means to be there for someone. He sings about waiting around for love on “Waiting for You,” never giving up hope that this other person will return to him. Throughout this ballad, Etham pairs the joyful melodies with lyrics like, “You don’t have to stay / You’ll be the one that got away / And my heart might lose / But I’ll be waiting for you,” putting a hopeful spin on this story. There’s also “I Won’t,” which is all about sticking with someone through their more difficult moments. Etham really sings out on this track, letting us feel his pain and desperation. Over the solemn sounds of the piano, he reminds this person, “When you give up, I won’t” and “Don’t you know that we’re on the same side / And all of your demons are mine,” wanting to make a breakthrough.
He has his breakthrough on tracks like “You’re the Reason” and “Know Me Yet,” two tender love songs that focus on being close with someone. On “You’re the Reason,” Etham sings, “I’ve been lost, been brokenhearted / But with you, I can talk about it / You’re the reason,” finding closure with someone special. He holds onto this love on “Know Me Yet,” where he reassures this person, “I don’t want to lose it all / ‘Cause you’re everything that I want / I’m never letting go.” There are so many other beautiful lyrics that are found throughout this song, made all the more beautiful by the sounds of soft percussion and piano; Etham’s love and commitment really comes through.
Still, no matter how much love you have for special people in your life, complications are guaranteed. We hear about a noticeable shift in a relationship on the title track, as Etham observes the way this relationship has changed. Accompanied by vibey acoustic guitar, he asks, “Can you prove me wrong?” and “Tell me, are we too far gone to change?” It is clear that he is disappointed in what has unfolded, but on “Guilty,” he is able to let it all go. Filled with comforting pop melodies and an acoustic-based sound, the track is one of the more pleasant breakup songs out there. As Etham tries to move on, he sings, “We never fell apart / We just fell out of love” and “Don’t think of me when you are out with your friends,” sharing no hard feelings.
When reflecting on Patterns, Etham shared, “these are some of my favorite songs I’ve ever written.” The attachment he has to these songs is palpable when listening, whether through the detailed stories or the heartfelt vocals. With this EP, Etham maintains the acoustic-based sound that has always captivated his fans while incorporating contemporary elements, like pop harmonies or melodies, that give his sound extra life; because when it comes down to it, Etham’s style is so mesmerizing on its own that lots of instrumentals or long-winded runs are just unnecessary. In the end, each song is pure and emotional, encouraging us to closely look at the ties, or patterns, that bind.
You can listen to Patterns on platforms like Apple Music, Spotify, and SoundCloud.