Monday, 24 March 2014

PATTERNS - Waking Lines

We are all familiar with the early morning haze; the initial five minutes of alert consciousness, where differentiating the hum of the birds from the man aiming an ak47 at your head seems problematic. Manchester-born band Patterns encapsulate this dreamy fantasia in their techno-trance starry pop ballads. Styled by The Guardian as ‘beautiful electronic drone pop that makes you feel like you’re flying’, Patterns’ debut album ‘Waking Lines’ is a harmony-woven dream.
Bandmates Ciaran McAuley (vocals), Alex Hillhouse (bass), Jamie Lynch and Laurence Radford (guitar) met at Manchester University, picking up Hillhouse after he filled in bass for the band at a last-minute gig; the foursome have gelled ever since. Patterns have been racking up attention over their five year lifespan, through the release of single ‘Induction’ last September and latest single ‘Blood’. The boys have, however, taken their sweet time over the release of their forthcoming album ‘Waking Lines’, yet not without good reason. In an interview for The Stool Pidgeon, lead vocalist McAuley reveals “It is about putting the groundwork in, we are almost too modest to take anything before it’s due. Why be happy with a load of buzz if, as a band, you don’t feel you’ve earned it?” And earned it they have-this heavily perfected album is a real masterpiece.

In the title track of the LP, McAuley’s haunting vocals blend with ethereal synth lines as he coos ‘you weren’t there, and I was away’. The track is not quite melancholy, yet the minor key accompanied by the nostalgic words ‘I wasn’t yours, and you weren’t mine’ sets a subdued tone. All this sits amidst shimmery chimes and dogged drum beats, creating a fusion of sounds and sensations that proves to be truly unique.The rest of the album remains surprisingly intense; every track is catchy and sanguine yet simultaneously features qualities of sorrow and mysticism. ‘This Haze’ determines what this band is all about-blended melodies, lazy oohs and faraway pop beats, with a sense of atmosphere unmatched in other electro bands such as MGMT. The bass drums of ‘Broken Trains’ pop the bubble of ambience in a bold move of genius, while the meaty guitar riffs compliment vocal echoes of ‘Blood’.

The album’s composition as a whole can be result of nothing but painstaking focus. Lyrics are a challenge to make out, but this is all part of the ethereal haze, the ingredient most central to Patterns’ music. Having played numerous stages across France and Spain, and earned a prestigious place on stage at Britain’s Bestival in 2013, the band is set to discover success as spellbinding as their music. The four have spent years perfecting their craft, and they are truly geniuses of their genre. ‘Waking Lines’ is released 6th January 2014 on Melodic Records; wake up and discover Patterns.

Words - Claudia Turnbull