Tabs Out | New Batch – Patient Sounds

New Batch – Patient Sounds

4.30.19 by Ryan Masteller

Patient Sounds’ releases often capture that time at the tail end of winter when the cold is still sort of firmly holding on but the thaw is right around the corner. They evoke the bleary-eyed malaise of a people and a city – Chicago, in this case – sick to death of that prognosticating groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, who, even when he’s got the ol’ early spring forecast in his book (I forget if that’s because he saw his shadow or because he didn’t see his shadow – my bleary-eyed malaise has rendered me useless in the research department), can’t seem to get Chicago’s weather pattern quite right. We here in warmer, more southern climes start to stretch and breathe a little. Chicagoans hunker deeper into their coats.
But the “private press record label and book publisher” soldiers on (pun definitely intended), and because of the seasonal factors and weather characteristics of that windiest of cities, Patient Sounds is in the perfect position to reflect what everybody’s feeling right back at them. How does it make you feel? It should feel like a warm, fuzzy blanket, all the time. Let’s see how these new joints do.


Tokyo-based Will Long may hold the record for most releases ever by an artist. Seriously. The hyperlinked “Celer” just up there goes to his Bandcamp page, and you may spend the next month, month and a half or so combing through it. Maybe longer. Long certainly gets the “patient” thing, so it makes sense for him to finally link his talents to PS. “Vamps,” of course, sounds anything but like what the title implies, as there are no vampires to be found at all in these two sidelong pieces. But oh! The dictionary includes another definition, a verb meaning “to repeat a short, simple passage of music.” This makes more sense, as the quiet piano figures move slowly, ghostlike, gently drifting like snowflakes on the breeze. So even though Will Long’s on the other side of the bloody planet, he’s still able to find that gentleness, that peacefulness that a cold winter’s night can bring, if, of course, you’re not out in it. Imagine that – someone from a faraway place connecting through music to us waaay over here. People aren’t so different after all, right? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Alisa Rodriguez also observes the snowflakes falling on the sleeve of her coat, which may not surprise you when you consider that Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is her home. Milwaukee is no stranger to the types of polar vortices that also hit Chicago, and in the dead of winter, you really shouldn’t be outside there for longer than five minutes (your eyeballs will freeze). You also can’t play guitar in winter gloves, so Alisa, who moonlights as dream pop project Apollo Vermouth, took solely to software when making “Someone Is Looking Out for Us.” She seems to have gotten the hang of it, as she coaxes dreams of spring from the slowly slushing snow piles. Even on the minutely propulsive “Ocean Itself” she finds hope in the mist and the murk, desperately trying to shake the cobwebs and the blues and emerge into a warmer sunbeam. It’s all hope in the end though – moving forward, finding your way, stretching toward dawn. The last track here’s called “Unconditional Love,” after all! How’s that for breaking out of a slump?

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