Patterns – New Noise EP
Christmas is nowhere in sight – no matter what some shops and festive freaks may have you believe – but that doesn’t stop Patterns from pulling out the sleigh bells in the opening track of their debut EP.
‘Broken Trains’, with its light seasonal jingling, is on one level light and whimsical, and yet with the sporadic drumbeats of the intro turning into almost a marching rhythm, quite serious on another. There’s something sad about the track, like a sense of longing as the vocals echo out, “Why’d you go now?” Though the vocals are, in every song, not quite the focus or central piece, the harmonies are brilliant and sound profoundly heartfelt.
Fortunately, ‘Wrong Two Words’, with its Gold Panda-like intro is a bit catchier, although once the drums kick in again that sense of gravitas returns. It’s a slowed-down slice of indie electro-pop, with perhaps a slice of shoegaze under all those echoey effects – terms which get bandied around far too easily these days but seem to fit in with Patterns. It makes you wonder what those two words mentioned in the title really are.
Incidentally, their website, should you be so inclined to find out more about the band – and after listening to the New Noise EP you most certainly will be – is a hipster’s wet dream, complete with a backdrop of dreamy space imagery and that ever-prevalent triangle. There are no links to a biography, nothing to say who Patterns are, but it does tell us about their style, in a roundabout way. Except that the arrogance that has become synonymous with hipsters is nowhere to be heard in any of Patterns’ songs. They’re much more likely to be compare to big hitters like Animal Collective than say, that band your friend says they liked before they sold-out to a label.
The whimsy returns in ‘(New Noise)’, in the guise of what could almost be a children’s tune in a music box, with its simple, repetitive structure. As it goes on to form the backbone of the song, it eventually gets lost behind the crashing percussion midway through the song. There’s a powerful energy behind all of the songs, but it comes across best on ‘(New Noise)’.
It’s worth skipping out perhaps the last minute of the New Noise EP; this is not because final track ‘Fly To NY’ is particularly bad or anything – it’s a brilliantly delicate piece, with ghostly “woah-oh-ohs” to boot – but the final minute is a deluge of synth which slowly fades out. In theory, it’s a nice way to announce ‘this EP is now over’, but in practice it’s not something that will sound as nice in your headphones as say, just putting the first track on again. At only four tracks long, Patterns’ New Noise EP has to be listened to again and again, until new material finds its way into existence.
Words: Coral Williamson.