Singer-songwriter Kevin Patrick finds folk freedom recording mystifying songs as Field Medic | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Singer-songwriter Kevin Patrick finds folk freedom recording mystifying songs as Field Medic


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Singer-songwriter Kevin Patrick, who makes charming, unvarnished acoustic bedroom songs under the name Field Medic, had an subconscious penchant for folk music long before he ever discovered Dylan and his 60s allies. In his early high school days Patrick gravitated toward the stripped-down material he’d come across on a now-defunct social network: “Every emo MySpace band had one acoustic track on their album,” Patrick tells me. Now 26, Patrick cycled through a handful of other projects before he figured out how to do what he does so well in Field Medic. In fact, he initially launched the solo endeavor as a side project while holding things down as the guitarist and vocalist for a rambunctious Bay Area band called Rin Tin Tiger. Patrick saved his folk-forward material for himself, releasing music under the name Field Medic online whenever he desired, and he realized the music he produced by himself best reflected his musical ideals. “I’d been through so many projects and stuff I just didn’t care anymore of what I thought was supposed to be right or wrong in the eyes of somebody else,” he says. “It allowed me to be free.” The results are occasionally shambolic, usually mystifying, and always lo-fi. In November, Run for Cover released Songs From the Sunroom, a compilation of Field Medic songs Patrick self-released over a two-year period. On the song “Pegasus Thotz” (Patrick styles the title with a space between each letter), the songwriter’s voice sounds hushed and on the verge of trembling as he sings over a finely plucked acoustic guitar and what sounds like a worn-out cassette recording of an aspiring drummer at practice. Though the elements may seem incongruous, Patrick pulls all the pieces together by injecting a sweet, amiable vulnerability into his performance.   v

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