Paterson Hall – The Eaves EP

One of my favorite qualities to find in a band is that of fearlessness. Now, before you judge me for sounding like a cheesy rom-com character who’s trying to be profound, allow me to explain. Fearlessness in music is what results in the cool use of weird time signatures. It’s the driving force behind vocalists who emote so much that you physically feel their presence simply by listening to one of their tunes. Fearlessness, accompanied by all of the examples that I just listed, is what I hear when I listen to Paterson Hall.

The Ottawa sextet recently released their second EP, The Eaves, consisting of three tracks, each of which exemplifies a different set of strengths and uniquenesses that this band possesses. A massive departure from their previous effort, simply titled O, these self-proclaimed “noisebabies” have graduated from already musically complex indie rockers to a fresh, more risqué sonic space that surpasses many of their contemporaries residing under the indie-rock umbrella, amounting to a rather soundscapey lush-rock auditory feast.

Starting strong with the song “Home”, you are immediately swept into an immersive maze of instrumental layering, beginning with Alexandre Pilon’s echoed thumping on the skins. His energetic, structured bursts are contrasted by Kelsey Miki’s inexplicable vocals. Her timbre has a certain quality to it that I can’t quite put my finger on, but the closest words I could use to describe it would be velvety smooth.

The band’s mastery of layering peaks during “Breathe, Creak, Say Bye”; a gentle breeze of a track, loosely held together by undulating guitar to accompany a brooding Jesse Harding. Harding, whose roles range from vocals to strumming the six-string, dons a Ben Gibbard-esque voice that doesn’t strike or enter your ears, but rather seeps into them; the wash of Miki’s backing harmonies, bass, guitar and keys rendered haunting with each line that floats out of his mouth.

Enter “Foundlings”; the band’s stripping down to their proverbial skivvies, harkening back to the O days. Josh White’s aforementioned ghostly vocals climb to higher reaches, where Modest Mouse’s influence on the band becomes more evident. This more simplistic soundscape sheds light on Andi Finlay’s sprightly basslines. Even with the use of un-distorted guitar hooks, the spacey mood that the preceding two songs offer streamlines into this one, with lapses in the beat giving way to moments of airy ambience. This three song odyssey is then brought to a solemn end with a sample of Alfred Hitchcock’s voice to lead us on our way out.

An aptly haunting finale to an equally haunting album, Paterson Hall is a listening experience far too mature for a band that has only released two EPs. To discover them for yourself, click on their facebook page or download a copy of The Eaves from their band camp page.

Written by Karyna Evangelista

About Karyna Evangelista 6 Articles
Karyna is a Montréal native with a penchant for all things artistic. Whether it be music, visual arts, fashion, or literature, you can find her all up in the latest happenings around the city, soaking them all in. When she’s not busy tending to these preoccupations, she’s probably hard at work on her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies at Concordia, or hanging with her other half, Biscuit (who happens to be a tiny poodle). Should you take a gander through her iTunes library, you’ll stumble upon some of her staples such as Radiohead, Pink Floyd, The Smashing Pumpkins, Counting Crows, Elliott Smith, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, Regina Spektor, Modest Mouse, and The National. Legend has it that if you ask her real nicely, she might even whip you up a batch of her ever-tasty veggie chili in exchange for some stimulating conversation over a few brews.

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