Patrick James seems to have been hinting at his debut album for quite some time, and with the release of two promising EPs in recent years we’re finally treated to Outlier. A composition of unheard tracks and long-beloved songs in the live setting, the record is a definitive statement from the musician.
Following in the footsteps of renowned lyricists like Josh Pyke and Paul Dempsey, James has a particular maturity about his songwriting that many tend to lack when first breaking out. Opening with ‘In New Light’, James provides us with everything we’ve come to expect of his live show; confident vocal harmonies, simple yet effective instrumental arrangements and an energy one might fear would be lost in recording. Single ‘California Song’ does its job- it will burrow into your head and refuse to leave, that is until longtime favourite ‘Bugs’ hits your ears. This one, alongside ‘Kings & Queens’ are welcome additions to the record, giving long-serving fans just what they wanted.
‘Covered In Rain’ sits amongst the standout tracks of Outlier, catchy, emotional and beautifully layered, this one is a genuine reflection of James’ live show. The triumphant feel around ‘So Grand’ is appropriate, not just for the track, but the record as a whole, and ‘Running Cold’ highlights the vocal harmonies that have become synonymous with James’ songwriting. An impressive full-length debut, Patrick James has constructed an appropriate array of his tracks, satisfying a old and new fans alike.
Standout Track – Covered In Rain
Outlier is available now.