Dree Paterson

Dree Paterson breaks through with A Louder Side of Me EP
Review: Breaking through the clutter in LA music market is very difficult for a young artist. You build a following through small clubs, singing covers while you write your own songs and collect the confidence, the capital and the inventory to produce a first EP or albumAnd when you do, it had better be more than good - because everyone is good - it must be outstanding and uniquely yours.

Dree Paterson has done done that. Her debut EP, A Louder Side of Me is a breakthrough work that demonstrates her poised flexibility across multiple genres while solidly establishing a unique, unmistakable voice that resonates in all of them.

Each of the five songs on A Louder Side of Me is carefully crafted so that it stands alone while remaining connected to the others through her voice and inflection. The result is a whole greater than the sum of the parts, a far-ranging musical narrative that could very be the best debut EP of the year.

When I heard the opening cut, "Forever", it was love at first listen. A blend of muted hard rock guitar, multiple vocal layers, almost pop tempo, but not quite - something more sophisticated - it sticks. But it was the lyrics that got me:

In the darkened tumble, sweet perfume/Beauty of the night, I'm here with you
Lost in the sheets tangled up in me
Say you'll, say you'll/Say you'll never leave
Take a hit of me, ooh you know I'm all you need.

Sex and hope - the pulse of youth - but expressed through a refined musical topography that seems impossibly refined for a young debut album. But there it is, confident, defiant, ready for life. 
Then Dree shifts to "Dust" and breaks your heart. There is no tempering here, no holding back, no enfolding the feeling in chord changes and tempo shifts. It is just Dree and the piano, quietly nuanced with percussion and base and later, keyboard, singing alone as she watercolors a picture of the loneliness of memories in exquisite lines of internal poetry. 

Handful of ashes still abandoned/tell me where did you go
Hard to imagine, look for distraction/as I'm trapped in the low.

We have all been there and try to forget it as we move on. But those moments of emotional agony are still with us. It takes a high talent to collect the dust from the neurons of our memories and blow them in our ears like dry-brittle kisses. It haunting and magic and shows a talent far beyond Dree's years. 

And then, before you can shake the dust of your ears, out comes the playful "I Quit" a light - hearted skip through a young musician's more fervent desire - quitting the day job and making a living with music alone. Bouncing along on a ukulele with a rhythm guitar and keyboard/piano, "I Quit" is a joyful cartoon. You can almost see the animated figures of one, two, any Dree Patersons, singing When I quit oh, I quit, make like banana and split as they dance away from the job. What fun, and more importantly, what courage to include it on a debut album. 

"In or Out" is solid hard rock and l, with a pulsing bass and soaring guitar weaving in and out of Dree's single and multiple layered vocals, belting out the demand. Don't make me choose/it's up to you/Take a leap into the future. Dree's signature voice pushes through the wall of guitar an d drum making it uniquely hers. After hearing it, you know this girl can rock with the best of them. 

Another song on the EP, "Over" is also rock, but more pop and more commercial. The chorus  is a strong hook that I can imagine her fans repeating back to her in club concerts and they bounce in front of the stage to the beat. She carries it off with professional feel - you would think that she has been writing and performing for years, designing songs that are perfectly tuned to stick in the mind, animate a crowd and entice a record label. Very impressive for a debut effort actually, very impressive for anyone. 

A Louder Side of Me stands on its own as a great entertainment worthy of a seasoned artist. As you upload it, remind yourself that it is a debut album so you had better save space for many more. This woman is going places and you will want to go with her. And you will have lots of company. 

Forever is out now and available HERE

To hear and learn more about Dree Paterson go to:

 LA. Correspondent
Patrick O' Heffernan 


Anonymous said…
Rad review!