Sarah Patrick: The Woman I Am

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Submitted by Johnathon Klee

With a harmonious, symphonic bend of strings and simple, reverberating strums of an acoustic guitar, Sarah Patrick’s new full-length LP The Woman I Am opens with a bit of an old-fashioned kick that is slightly reminiscent of some of our favourite country artists of the late 1980’s. Through her lyrics, she writes a declaration to the world; this is who I am, what I stand for, and no one is going to contain the woman that I am. Her straight-forwardness doesn’t stop there; “That’s the Way Love Goes” follows a similar cue, calmly dismissing cares and concerns over what could, or should, have been in favour of a much simpler, relaxed outlook on the future to come. The electric guitars sparkle with a certain poppy luminosity, but this doesn’t feel overly pushy when it comes to striking a haunting note. “I’m Right Here” and the slow song “To Stay” share a common cordiality that if not accompanied by traditional country song structures, could possibly make for intriguing a cappella.

The Woman I Am is not aggressively experimental or even significantly diverse in its approach to forging countrified love songs, but there’s a certain comfort in knowing that when I put on this record, I’m going to get exactly what Sarah Patrick advertises; stone cold country that is instantly recognizable when you hear it on the radio. This LP was absolutely crafted with FM airplay in mind, and there’s no question that Patrick seems like a fitting choice to succeed some of country’s aging royalty. It would be nice to see a little more instrumentation in her next record, and maybe even some riskier song choices that perhaps would test the sonic depth of what her genre has traditionally had the capacity for.

The album’s second-half runs with a bit more of a progressive flow than the first half, but I wouldn’t say the cohesiveness of the complete record ever feels (or sounds) repetitive. If anything, The Woman I Am feels like a greatest hits record, a sort of sample offering of the various tones and hottest melodies that Patrick has mustered to date. All of that withstanding, most artists are not able to turn out anything as professionally packaged or radio-ready as what we find here, and that’s something to be said considering that 14-year-old kids are making feature films on their smartphones these days.

In her closing track “Give a Little More Love,” Sarah Patrick brings us full circle, back to that freewheeling start she gave us at the beginning of The Woman I Am. It feels like a backyard jam, and we’re sitting front and centre to an intimate, up close and personal performance from a candid singer/songwriter. There’s a lot of wild, furiously burning life in Patrick’s music, and I definitely think that’s something we could all use a little shot of now and again amidst the mundane drag of our day to day lives. Even if you’re not the biggest country fan, I think audiences of all tastes can find something to love in The Woman I Am and the talented woman behind it.