Album Review: Field Medic – fade into the dawn

Each of the ten tracks on bedroom-folk artist Field Medic‘s upcoming release, fade into the dawn, is a bite-sized study in vulnerability. The record, out on Run For Cover Records, is due for release on April 19, though it has been available for purchase through Bandcamp since April 15, and the album details musician Kevin Patrick’s encounters with heartbreak and insecurity.

Screen Shot 2019-04-17 at 6.59.19 PM-1.jpgIn general, the songs on fade into the dawn could be considered short; only two of the songs clock in over four minutes and the majority are under three. Each song is folky, though tracks vary from thick and hypnotizing (“hello moon”) to dark with harmonica (“mood ring baby”) to lighthearted and harmonic (“i was wrong”). The common thread throughout, however, is the honest guitar picking and an emphasis on Patrick’s drawl.

More importantly than that, the songs are simple. Patrick uses little more than his guitar and his voice to communicate lyrics laden with heartbreak, and the sparse instrumentation allows for a focus on his vocals. His lyrics are, at times, imbued with humor, but he also often details the struggles of touring and heartbreak and relying on alcohol.

“the bottle’s my lover, she’s just my friend” is perhaps the best example of this vulnerability; on this track, Patrick details the difficulty of sliding back into drinking after he quit (“Can’t find any reason/Or cause to believe in/So the bottle’s my savior/Like it’s always been”). The lo-fi production aesthetic creates a feeling of fuzziness, but the authenticity of Patrick’s voice–which cracks as he changes registers and sounds genuinely exhausted–builds a strange catharsis throughout the track as listeners grow weary alongside Patrick.

But not everything is quite so heavy on the album: “tournament horseshoe,” for example, is jauntier and seems to be about a lover (“She saw heart thru the sorrow/Took my hand & saw me thru/She’s the only one I’m gonna give my lovin’ to”). It’s cute and upbeat, and the bright tone is a nice reprieve from the heaviness of the rest of the record.

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Photo courtesy of Run For Cover Records.

fade into the dawn is intimate and intense all at once; its ten tracks are folky and largely straightforward, and Patrick spins new stories of heartbreak and insecurity and love on each song. Simply put, it is a beautiful folk album.

Listen to (and purchase) fade into the dawn via Bandcamp below:

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