Jaye Jayle is the self-conscious folk persona of Evan Patterson (Young Widows, Old Baby). He clearly enjoys assuming the tumbleweed mythology of the lonesome troubadour, ye that keep the devil at bay with a “beat-up parlor guitar that can barely hold a tune.” But the music isn’t just dress-up – Patterson displays a solid understanding of folk tropes and a keen sense for their fragmented recombination.
“Pull Me Back to Hell” opens with an overdriven guitar warbling alone in the desert heat. Enter the perfect suitcase drum tones, low and resonant but muted, thudding like nails in a coffin or knuckles into ribs. The rickety steel string rings out in octaves, subtly textured in multiple takes. The plinking upright and gentle vocals curl around the bleak bones of this skeleton. With minimal elements, Patterson assembles but still patiently humanizes a mechanized death march.
“Evil Windows” begins with falling-rain banjo and Bron-Y-Aur boom-tap. There’s immediate mood, yes, but it seems too nice. Turns out it’s folk-pop bait, amplifying the (occasional) dissonant reaches of guitar, the trickle of spa treatment synth, and the Ritalin-laced, little drummer boy snare cracks. Beneath Patterson’s stiff-jawed mumble there’s a sullen melancholy that isn’t as forced as other wide-brimmed folkies.
This single, through Sophomore Lounge (outfit for numerous local darling releases), is one of a series Patterson will release throughout the coming months from the digital album …It’s Jayle Time!. Grab one or more and brew some whiskey tea.