Album Review: Field Medic – Fade Into The Dawn (Run For Cover)

Field Medic is the nom de plume of LA folkie Kevin Patrick, a new voice on the scene that deserves to be heard.

The opening track of Field Medic’s debut album, Used 2 Be A Romance, could very well taken up as an anthem for any number of contemporary musicians currently on the road. The first couple of lines are priceless:

I need a cigarette, those fuckers talked over my whole set

But I don’t have any time to reflect, I gotta sell some shirts to try and make the rent.

To these veteran ears it comes across like the 21st century version of Bob Seger’s  “life is hard on the road” classic, Turn The Page.

It’s the kind of song that cuts to quick and connects the listener immediately with the singer, whether they’ve ever been on the road or not.

That’s the mark of an effective songwriter and that’s why Kevin Patrick, aka Field Medic, is worth your time.

The young troubadour has been through a lot, by the sounds of it, and he’s not afraid to share.

According to the accompanying press release, Patrick recently moved from San Francisco to LA, quit his day job to make music his fulltime endeavour and also quit drinking, only to take it up again after hitting the road.

The experience is related in The Bottle’s My Lover, She’s Just My Friend, in which Patrick’s voice cracks with honesty over a droning keyboard.  The second verse summarises his situation:

I can’t write myself out of this twilight
The words, they won’t come out
I’m buried alive
Try to recover, impossible to mend
So the bottle’s my doctor
And my prescription

Musically, most of the 10 tracks here find Patrick accompanying himself with lo-fi acoustic guitar and amateurishly-recorded vocals. But that lo-fi feel only serves to heighten the immediacy in the songs and in the performance.

A few tunes feature a fuller production.

Everyday’z 2 Moro, a tune about wasting the day away hanging out at his girlfriend’s apartment while she’s at work, features a drum machine, while the moody Hello Moon features what sounds like a full band and double-tracked vocals as the singer details his loneliness.

The final song on the album, Helps Me Forget, is the most intimate. Sounding like a plea for help, it’s poignant, and somewhat disturbing as Patrick sings, “How did I Get here and how in the hell and I going to escape. Help me get back to that place where I can be something else.

After listening to Fade Into The Dawn, one may be concerned over the well-being of the singer, but you’ll also want to hear what he comes up with next.

Marty Duda