Folk singer-songwriter Andrew Patterson’s Pave the Road EP is a collection of songs that Patterson has written over the past five years. The EP is a type of concept album, as it’s reflective; introspective themes effectively pave the way for future works and new beginnings. The four songs are packed with insight into everyday life, composed of storytelling lyrics and traditional instrumentation.
The first song of the album “Surely Not” introduces the listener to Patterson’s style, a melodic mixture of folk and acoustic singer songwriter. Sweet, droning electric guitar layers over both plucked and strummed acoustic guitars, and multiple vocal tracks with intricate harmonies provide the soundscape with added meaning. The lack of percussion instruments does not detract from the tune’s dynamics, and Patterson alters his voice appropriately to convey emotion and lead the song forward to the end.
“Charlotte” follows the opener as a slightly toned-down love ballad. The relaxed pace and soft strumming contrasts well with the wistful vocals in the song. Although there are a few instrumental sections peppered throughout the tune, it is mostly a lyric-driven track and Andrew’s poetic side really comes through.
The album continues its unhurried, peaceful aura with “Old Shoes” with a repeating motif that builds as the song gradually augments sound and emotion until the dynamic apex at the end. Although the chords alone could have become tedious, Patterson inflects more than enough variation with his vocals in order to prevent this from happening, making for a very enjoyable listen.
Coming to a close, the EP ends with the beautiful “Dandelions” an almost-six minute saga that runs the gamut of emotions and volume. The lyrics are touching and the harmonious guitars that the listener is quite familiar with by now make one final performance, not letting up from their mellowness. Overall, Pave the Road does exactly what it was made to do, opening up many future opportunities for Andrew Patterson and his talents.
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