Canadian singer/songwriter Amelie Patterson unveils her new single “The Patient Kind”.
Produced by Will Maclellan and Brock Geiger and written by Patterson, Barry Mason and Kyle Tenove, the new single is about meeting someone and knowing right away that you have a connection.
“It’s about knowing what you like, and playing long game. It’s about knowing that you’re worthy of good love and you don't have to settle for something because it’s easy,” says Patterson.
The Banff native revealed her debut album Roll Honey Roll in 2016. With this latest release, Patterson is showcasing her growth as a promising songwriter and as a brilliant artist.
“The Patient Kind” is the first single of her upcoming project The Playlist.
“The Patient Kind” is now available worldwide.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
My name is Amelie, I was born and raised in beautiful Banff, Alberta.
What's your story?
I grew up in Banff and spent my childhood skiing and chasing after my two older brothers (whom I adore). I picked up the guitar at 17 and taught myself 3 chords (C, G and D), and I almost immediately began writing my own songs. I wrote my own because I didn’t have the skill to learn the songs of artists I really loved, F chord was out of the question (and remained so until I was 19, my fourth chord!). After graduating high school I headed to University of Victoria where I completed a BSc. in Biology with my sights set on Vet school. In hindsight all the clues pointed to my strengths being in art, but I didn’t know any artists and I grew up in a very athletic and academic family. Studying sciences seemed the obvious choice. After a sharp left hand turn into music in 2014 I began performing and writing music. I had amazing support from my family, but also my community. I completed my first music residency at the Banff Centre for Creative Arts in 2015 where I met Will Maclellan. I recorded my first EP “Roll Honey Roll” with Will in his basement in Calgary with the help of Brock Geiger. I released RHR at Canadian Music Week in 2016 and went on to tour that record all over Western Canada. RHR went on to win Alternative Recording of the Year at the YYCMAs. In 2017, after completing my second residency at the Banff Centre for Creative Arts I headed to Toronto to take part in Canada’s Music Incubator. This marked a more serious turn in my career and also began the development of my new project “The Playlist”. The first single of the “The Playlist” will be released on May 31st 2019!
Any favourite memories from your childhood?
Skinned knees, hiking, camping, following my brothers anywhere they went. Riding horses in the summer and skiing in the winter. It was pretty great.
I think one of my favourite memories is of a family holiday we took to Nitinat Lake on the Southwestern coast of Vancouver Island. It’s a salt-water lake that's wild and remote and stunning. There are these absolutely massive old growth cedar logs that have washed up and their root networks make for very magical fort building. My brothers and I set up “trading posts” where we would trade with each other really beautiful shells and rocks and treasures that we found. My oldest brother, Luke, quickly ran the gamut and became a ruthless banker of sorts. I learned a lot about corruption and bribing on that lakeshore.
Growing up, what were you passionate about?
I was always very passionate about animals of all kinds. Horses and dogs were my go-to as a kid, but I later studied Herpetology (reptiles and amphibians) at the University of Victoria.
I also loved art of any kind. I used to make a lot of natural art in my back yard with sticks and leaves and twigs, and I genuinely never minded when it got blown away or destroyed minutes after making it.
I loved reading and I read voraciously as a child/teen. I always loved music and I was always a daydreamer. I would sit and listen to records my dad would put on (both my parents passed on their deep love for music to me) and I would feel so moved I just couldn’t contain myself. I’ve always had a flair for drama.
When did you start feeling connected to art and music?
Very early on. I was lucky to be raised in a household where there was a lot of music playing all the time. I had pretty varied influences as my 2 older brothers were into alt/indie rock and hip-hop, where as my dad loved folk and classic rock, and my mom loved Motown and musicals.
In high school, before I realised that everyone feels expressly uncomfortable as a teen, I felt like music was the only way I could connect my angst to words. I felt like Modest Mouse and The Pixies wrote their songs to me personally as a way to communicate release and expression. Imagine my surprise when I realised that experience is basically a right of passage for teens, and bands have been providing that tool for expression since time immemorial!
Do you remember your early musical memories?
Dire straights and Bruce Cockburn blasting on long road trips out to the coast. Seeing the Phantom of the Opera live in Toronto at 3 or 4 and crying the whole way through (possibly because I wanted to get up onstage). My dad explaining the meaning of Bob Dylan’s poetic lyrics, and as long as I kept him talking I didn't have to go to bed. Countless concerts at the Eric Harvey Theatre at the Banff Centre (sometimes when I walk into the Eric Harvey the very scent of the place sends me spiralling down memories of childhood Christmas concerts and meeting Johnny Clegg).
I also remember that my French teacher and music teacher had a club during Mondays at lunch time called “Music Club”. They would play guitar and we would all sing songs like “Blowing in the Wind” or “One Tin Soldier” and I’d never heard more beautiful songs. I had to wait all week to hear my favourites, so when we would sing them all together I would close my eyes and soak it up and let shivers run through my whole body.
When did you know you had to become an artist and release your original music?
Interestingly I was working on applications for Vet school. I was 24 and I had worked my ass off for 4 years in university with the sole goal of getting into Veterinary Medicine, and while working on applications I thought to myself “What if I get in? What if this is the fork in the road where I go one way and not the other and regret for the rest of my life?” I had always felt like an imposter in my science degree, but I didn’t grow up knowing any musicians. The permeating image of professional musicians during my youth was rock stars with dysfunctional personal lives or people that got discovered by Disney at 8 years old. I had no idea that you could work in the music industry. So I called my dad and told him I wanted to be a musician, and there was silence on the other end of the phone until he said, “Alright. If that's what you want to do, then do it, but face it like you faced your biology degree. Work really hard, take ever opportunity to learn as much as you can, write yourself a contract and give yourself a year. If by the end of the year you decide you don’t like it then apply for veterinary school, and if you decide you do like it, sign yourself up for another year”. So that's exactly what I did. Turns out I loved being a musician. I remember when I slipped into music; I didn’t feel like an imposter anymore. I felt like I was as smart as I was ever going to be musically – I just didn’t know anything yet. And if that's where you’re coming from, you just have to learn more about something you already love; you’re in an amazing position. I have spent the past 6 years soaking up everything I can, hustling really hard, writing, recording, failing, succeeding, and pushing myself to learn, learn, learn. It’s been a fascinating trip.
Roll Honey Roll was your debut album. How did your sound and artistry evolve since then?
I think I’ve grown a lot as a songwriter but also as a musician. The nature of my newest recording project is collaborating with talented musicians and artists, and a side effect of that is learning and growth. I’ve moved away from a roots sound and more towards an alt-folk sound, which has been really exciting and fun.
"The Patient Kind" is your new single. What's the story behind this song?
“The Patient Kind” is about meeting someone and knowing right away that you have a connection. It’s about knowing what you like, and playing long game. It’s about knowing that you’re worthy of good love and you don't have to settle for something because it’s easy. I liked the idea of being confident enough to approach someone you’re interested in and say “It’s alright if the timing is off, not everyone is ready for good love when it comes their way. I don’t have to wade through the bullshit with you – that's your journey, but get at me when you want a healthy and stable love. I’m the patient kind.”
Could you describe us the songwriting/production for this song?
Fun! I wanted it to sound like the feeling in your stomach when you’ve been single for a long time, working on yourself, and then you meet someone that you connect with and you just want to be around them, and you feel energized and excited and you can’t get them outta your head! I wrote the chorus for this song a long time ago, but always felt like it was too basic. Then I took the song to my trio (Barry Mason, Kyle Tenove) and we re-wrote the whole thing sitting in the sun in Barry’s backyard. I remember feeling a completely new respect for the song, I wanted to sing it differently, and I wanted to throw my heart into it. It’s always been one of my favourite songs to perform live.
When I brought it to my producers (Will Maclellan and Brock Geiger) we tried to take those elements that I enjoyed in the song and boost them. We used Barry’s intro guitar lick as a touchstone for the song and let it guide us through choices we made for everything else.
When did you start working on "The Patient Kind"?
What do you like the most about this particular song?
My favourite moment of the entire song is in the 3rd verse after the chorus. Kyle’s bass line is so melodic and it moves so effortlessly around the melody – I listen for it every time! He came up with it on the fly in the studio with all of us around him cheering him on. It was really fun.
What's the story behind your project The Playlist?
I’m really excited to introduce this project. It’s been under development for the past 2 years. Essentially I am releasing rolling singles (rather than an album cycle) to curate a groovy, alt-folk playlist. It's a direct reflection of how people are consuming music these days, and also a productive way to challenge industry standards. As each single is released I will have small-batch merch items made my local Albertan artists available. I am really interested in the synch/licensing world and I’m working on carving out a career in songwriting, so this is a great way to collaborate with other artists and create a catalogue of work that I can showcase.
What do you like the most about songwriting?
The expression, vulnerability, connection, and the feeling in my heart when all of those things come together and I feel like I’ve made something worthwhile.
What advices would you give to young songwriters?
Write all the time. This is an advice I give to myself as well. It’s really easy to make excuses and to not push yourself towards growth. With every moment comes opportunity for growth, so write all the time. You don’t have to share everything you write, it’s not always going to be good, it doesn’t have to be – you just have to keep doing it.
As an artist, what are the biggest challenges?
Stability. For me stability is the biggest challenge in all aspects of my business as an artist. Inspiration comes in waves and the drought that it leaves behind is filled with self-doubt. Finding stability in continually creating through the drought is challenging. Obviously the logistical challenge of running a business and being paid for your art is tough too, and can often take away from the time that you have in a day to create. I always say “never listen to a musician complain” because I think if you have a talent and a drive to do something that you love, you are incredibly lucky and should be grateful. You don’t get into this industry because it’s easy, so for me I have to navigate all kinds of paths and challenges to ensure that I have some amount of stability.
What does music mean to you?
I’m a really auditory person, so for me music is how I understand the world. It's the subtext to every emotion, inspiration, falter, and intonation. Music is very natural to me, and without sounding cheesy it means the world to this little chicken.
What do you want to accomplish in this world?
I want to live with integrity, generosity, humour and kindness. I want to make great art that moves people and connects people. I want to be able to live sustainably and inspire and help others to do so as well.
In your opinion, what would make the world a better place?
Empathy, education, more time in nature, and for everyone to have better sleeps and drink lots of clean water.
What biggest lessons have you learnt as a human being and as an artist?
Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you put pride before growth you’re in trouble.
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