Esme Patterson’s Facebook page describes her musical style as “soulful dream-rock,” and her latest release underlines how spot-on that rather esoteric description is.
Although the longtime Denverite, a co-founder of the old-timey collective Paper Bird, has decamped to Portland, Oregon, she remains one of Colorado’s musical treasures. Her new album, “We Were Wild,” available Friday from Grand Jury Music, showcases the singer-songwriter’s evolution from folky crooner to edgy indie rocker.
That edge emanates more from her instrumentation and arrangements—and from the lyrics themselves—than from her flawless voice, which remains as fluttery and crystalline as ever. After outlasting some relationship-related heartache and angst, she’s poured that disappointment, and her rise above it, into these songs, most notably in the neo-punkish “Feel Right.” Other tunes like “No River” and “Wantin’ Ain’t Gettin'” bring more of that soulful vibe, and the collection as a whole underlines Patterson’s uniquely arresting versatility. She could, as they say, sing the phone book and bring something special for every type of listener.
Patterson will play a record-release set at Twist & Shout on Friday at 6 p.m. before launching her summer tour at Larimer Lounge on Saturday, June 18. To her many Colorado fans, she can’t come home often or soon enough.