We Were Wild

The all-encompassing word that comes to mind to describe Esmé Patterson’s sound is “delightful.” The singer got a lift into mainstream light a couple of years back after singing harmonies with Shakey Graves, and with her newest album seems on the brink of a solo breakthrough. We Were Wild has that special something—simple and concise. Its lyrical statements are like easy mantras. Take the single “Feel Right,” in which Patterson sings, “No one wants to feel/something that don’t feel right,” or the repeating hooky chorus of “No River,” where she simply says, “I’m human/I’m human.” Whether it’s delivered with a quick, punk overdrive, slow lap-steel sighing, or a nearly 1950s rock bounce, her music feels bright and easily understood. The real gem is Patterson’s slight country-tinged, sepia-toned voice that moves with a flawless, breezy air. Patterson’s light-yet-earnest delivery gives it the backbone that makes it just delightful.