Folk rocker Patrick Ames is taking the climate crisis head on. Well, actually, by proxy via "Young and Amorous" as it's one of his latest two singles to drop this month, with the b-side "I Was Thinking." Ames has been releasing new music since the Summer of 2016 with Standard Candles. In his releases soon after, he would include songs that were more about activism and the politics of the day, aside from the standard themes we come to expect in rock music.
Cultural Awareness of Being "Young and Amorous"
Of the first two singles, we start with "Young and Amorous," which is the less serious and of the two, but also unconventional were you to take its meaning literally. The song starts with the beat, some keyboards and then after a few measures of the intro, the bass comes rolling in. Patrick comes in with the chorus and Mikaela Matthews doing backup vocals. She and her mother Chana have been with Ames for years now, and it's great to hear they're still in the mix.
The song is simple in how it's written and performed, and it seems pretty straightforward to me. For me, it's an interesting take on the art of seduction at an older age. It kind of reminds me of that E-Harmony commercial with the oldest couple on the beach.
"Time breaks down and we lose control. Fantasies spill out like a waterfall. Think we're younger, but we know we're not. Let's pretend tonight," which is a different way of looking at what happens in a long time relationship when sexual interest might wane. My trust issues are too much for me to even think about having a basic relationship, much less one that lasts well into old age. I might not even make it there, but back to the song... the lyrics do get more seductive to the point where the lights get turned off.
The part of this track that I really like are about being "generous" and "luxurious" where those are things that are a lifetime earned. It's something to look forward to, even without a relationship in one's old age where, like the e-harmony commercial, one senior would be out there taking in some sun by themselves. Where's that E-harmony commercial? Of course, there is the view that the lyrics should be seen figuratively. Patrick says about the pretend part, that we're a pretend society.
"Let's pretend, we're young and amorous, let's pretend, life is glamorous, let's pretend, the years have been generous. Let's pretend tonight."
"I Was Thinking" Keeps Patrick Up At Night
This track is just Patrick on the guitar with Jon Ireson on the bass, where Ames ponders the issues of climate awareness. The brain, as brains are known to do, travels all over the place no matter what the thought might be. Here, Ames is thinking about the oceans, overconsumption, how there are warning signs, but mostly he's wondering if anyone else is thinking about the same problems. We only know there are those who are sounding the alarm, who are thinking about it as he is. Ames wonders how we're still around despite this and perhaps haven't eradicated ourselves yet. It's enough to keep him awake because rather than sleeping, he was thinking all night long. The song comes across as bluesy, where a climate crisis could be seen as something to sing the blues about. Ames says that he's been writing climate blues songs for a while now, because it is something that keeps him up at night. In those thoughts, we see the problem, and we naturally want to provide a solution, but where to start? He has some ideas which we talk about in our interview below.
Interview with Patrick Ames
My review simply isn't complete without some input from the man himself.