True Story, Patrick Craig’s debut album, combines the essence of folk-punk music with evocative lyrics to create an excellent record that’s about “coming to terms” with change and being a new person. It’s almost hard to believe that the album made quickly, recorded for the most part outside of a “traditional” studio. True Story is, in this way and many more, surprising – fortunately, in a good way!
The album kicks off with True Story, the title track that’s also a preview of what’s to come throughout the rest of the album. It’s quintessential acoustic folk punk, using the bare minimum in terms of instruments to feature Craig’s talented vocals and vivid lyrics. The sound of running water connects this track to Your Lifejacket Is Under Your Seat. The next song has a similar soft punk vibe and creates a story through lyrics that shift from “I need to get better” to “I refuse to sink”. It’s followed by Cold Coffee In Cracked Mugs, the mainly piano-backed song where Craig utilizes his upper vocal register for a change. The lyrics paint powerful pictures of coffee-stained mugs and burnt butts of cigarettes. Words Unspoken follows, another strong-lyric song with the same vibe as the first two. With lyrics like “She’s got marks on her arms that are permanent” and “I hate that I can’t cry”, it’s clear that the singer takes part in a worldwide struggle of needing to be strong for someone else, and Craig’s lyrics and vocals are both dripping with feeling, conveying the stress and emotion that it takes to hold someone else up. The next song, Splinters, tells a tale of a messy breakup-slash-ending, one that is widely relatable, through soft vocals and percussive guitar picking. Fighter shares another well-known situation, although through faster-paced, positive, and upbeat melody. Craig sings, “I can’t do much/If you won’t help yourself” and “When every demon is slain/We’ll sing, we survived/We survived” to everyone and anyone going through a struggle who needs to know how strong they are. Begin Again changes up the sound from the rest of the album, leaning a little more towards classic punk rock, and shows how Craig’s voice can mesh well with multiple styles of punk, especially using his upper vocal range. Following that, the next two songs have a similar sound to the beginning of the album. Drinking Too Much and Hold My Jacket are soothing, softer acoustic punk complete with inventive lyrics. Finally, It Matters closes the album, with a heard-over-the-radio sound (complete with sound effects of changing radio stations at the beginning and end) that’s a blessing and a curse – while it’s a cool sound, the vocals are difficult to discern.
Patrick Craig takes the genre of “acoustic punk” and summarizes it into one excellent album with True Story. Although only his debut album, there’s no doubt that he’ll be successful. Keep an eye out for the album’s release on April 29th, and an interview to come later as well!