Brandon Patton: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do After splitting with a girlfriend of eight and a half years, Patton says he spent an extended period walking around in a jilted haze. The songs on his new album Underhill Downs mostly concern the breakup and his subsequent attempts to date again. In "Ashes and Stains," the singer-songwriter crafts a narrative that's as relatable as it is raw.

Review

Brandon Patton: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

'Ashes and Stains' by Brandon Patton

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Brandon Patton spends the bulk of his time playing bass for nerdcore rapper MC Frontalot, but he also writes his own emotional indie rock on the side. A Minnesota native who now calls Staten Island home, Patton wrote his new album Underhill Downs about his time spent living on Underhill Avenue in Brooklyn. After splitting with a girlfriend of eight and a half years, Patton says he spent much of that period walking around in a jilted haze. The songs on Underhill Downs mostly concern the breakup and his subsequent attempts to date again.

Thursday's Pick

  • Song: "Ashes and Stains"
  • Artist: Brandon Patton
  • CD: Underhill Downs
  • Genre: Rock

In "Ashes and Stains," singer-songwriter Brandon Patton crafts a narrative that's as relatable as it is raw. courtesy of the artist hide caption

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courtesy of the artist

In "Ashes and Stains," singer-songwriter Brandon Patton crafts a narrative that's as relatable as it is raw.

courtesy of the artist

The album's weary tone, overdub-heavy production and experimental song structures effectively reflect Patton's emotional headspace at the time. But one of its simplest and most compelling tracks, "Ashes and Stains," paints a vivid picture through more traditional songwriting tools. Its slow-yet-insistent buildup, deceptively jubilant-sounding chorus, key change and soft fade out make for an accessible, immediate tune. Lyrically, of course, it focuses on love lost, with a bit of self-pity thrown in: "I'm walking in the park through the moonlit trees / Thinking of you closing the bar down," Patton sings, adding, "Cut me some slack / I'm still getting my nerve back." By capturing his own self-doubt, Patton crafts a narrative that's as relatable as it is raw.

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