Tracker Pixel for Entry

Esme Patterson creating Herstory

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Music | June 28th, 2017

Jolene, Allison, and Eleanor Rigby are all very different characters made famous by pop songs, but have you ever wondered how they felt about their situations?

Singer-songwriter Esme Patterson’s latest concept album “Woman to Woman” sings their stories from their perspectives.

We had the opportunity to speak with Patterson via phone interview. We caught her in San Francisco working on a new collaboration. Unfortunately, all she could tell us was it was for a movie score. Fortunately for us, she was eager to tell us about her record “Woman to Woman.”

High Plains Reader: Can you tell us how you developed the concept for your album Woman to Woman?

Esme Patterson: The song Tumbleweed was the first one written for that project. I was in South Dakota in a town called Spear Fish on tour with a band that I used to be in and I had my own hotel room -- which was very rare. I think that only happened twice in the eight years I was in that band.

I was learning how to play the Townes van Zandt song Loretta. I wrote all the lyrics down and started studying them and thought it seemed like a one-sided perspective of a woman, and I started thinking how many songs were someone else’s perspective of a woman, whose own thoughts and perspectives you never got to hear.

In that hotel room I stopped learning Loretta and wrote Tumbleweed from Loretta’s perspective. So the whole album is all songs from the perspective of female characters from famous pop songs.

HPR: What was it like formulating your characters?

EP: It was a combination of being very freeing for me personally, because for the most part my work is very self-reflective, and it was a release. It was really fun actually, to put my energy into this character’s perspective. I was trying to make them as human as possible and part of that is a feminist objective of showing that women are also people with complex emotions -- not just some doll.

Part of it was just total fantasy and writing a little fiction about trying to show another chapter to the story, after seeing the original song I was responding to as one side of a conversation, and giving these characters a chance to respond. It was freeing for me to step into a fictional writer’s space. It was also with the aim of empowering women, and showing that there’s at least two sides to every story.

HPR: Is there a song or character that you identify with more than others?

EP: I feel like the one that I put myself into the most on that record was the song Glow, which is a response to Caroline, No, by The Beach Boys. I feel like that was the one that I was kind of in the most -- but still the art is always part truth part fiction. It’s not exactly my story at all, but that song had more of me in it than the rest.

HPR: Let’s Dance was a reaction to Lola by The Kinks. In that song, you wrote from the perspective of a trans woman.

EP: I thought it was important to include the voice of a trans woman in the voices of women. That was important to me.

HPR: What kind of feedback have you gotten from Woman to Woman? Some people keep certain songs close to heart -- but I suppose in the end it’s all open to interpretation!

EP: Exactly! (laughs) Yeah, the response that it elicited was exactly what I was going for. I wanted to open a conversation about these ideas and in a conversation there is no right or wrong -- it’s like let’s open this discussion. Let’s talk about archetypes and objectification of women. Let’s open these conversations. The response was varied and I thought it was really fascinating.

IF YOU GO

Esme Patterson at Winnipeg Folk Festival

Friday, July 7, 6pm

Main Stage, Birds Hill Park, Winnipeg MB

IF YOU GO

Esme Patterson

Monday, July 10, doors 5pm, show 7pm

Fargo Brewing Co, 610 University Dr N, Fargo

Advance $12, $14 day of show



Recently in:

FARGO – Nearly half of the Walmart employees claiming discrimination from management at the world’s largest retail chain came before Fargo’s Human Relations Commission Thursday, to appeal for help, and the commission…

Culture

​Gaming and Steam

by Chuck Solly

I have hesitated in the past to ride into the gaming world with my guns blazing and my hair blowing in the wind. My reasons are many and varied.In my own personal case, I don’t play online or offline games because it is a huge…

Thursday, February 22, 7pmFront Street Taproom, 614 Main Ave, Fargo The jazz musician and independent songwriter, making music for 20 years and performing for 10. Interesting, arranges in a dynamic and unorthodox fashion. On tour,…

Editorial

​Savoring local flavor

by Sabrina Hornung

What draws people to a particular area? Food? Culture? Nostalgia? It’s hard to speak on behalf of the populace but we obviously know what draws us in as individuals.Here’s another question: What makes an area thrive and what…

Do we finally have ‘beauteous mankind in a brave new world?’British philosopher and writer Aldous Huxley used a line of Miranda’s speech in Shakespeare’s play "The Tempest" as the title for his book about the future…

This year’s Cocktail Showdown yielded a mixture of familiar and fresh faces to compete in the Fifth Annual Bartenders Battle when it returns to the Holiday Inn on Sunday February 18th. With a bright and colorful Tiki theme, we…

By Melissa Martin, Ph.D. Melissamartincounselor@live.com Emotional eating refers to a range of behaviors in which individuals eat for reasons other than physiological hunger; and eating is an attempt to self-soothe emotions.…

Whoever said rock n’roll ain’t pretty must have never had the opportunity to speak with Wanda Jackson, often referred to as “the queen of rockabilly” and even the “first lady of rock n’ roll.” The Oklahoma native just…

Given the film’s somewhat odd marriage of style -- the personality-driven presence of chatty neophyte documentarian Bryan Fogel -- and substance -- the ugly realities of the longtime Russian doping program for Olympic competitors…

The Red Raven had their annual opening party for the Erotic Art Show last week, drawing in a sizeable crowd that got to take home free condoms, lubricant, chapstick, and Planned Parenthood pins and brochures.The red candles at each…

By Nathan Roybardsdream@gmail.comYou are absolutely right. The title is not “To be or not to be” from the famous Shakespeare soliloquy in "Hamlet." I won’t be talking about Shakespeare particularly. I will expound the…

Fargo has its share of people who are passionate about stand-up comedy, even if the success of clubs devoted to it has been mixed. Despite the fact we have seen places like Courtney’s Comedy Club and Level 2 Comedy Club close…

“What are some of your favorite bottles of whiskey?” is a question I get asked quite frequently and is often harder to answer than one might think. One of the great rewards of my profession is getting to sample some of the…

Essential oils. They are all the buzz lately. It seems everyone has heard of them or is purchasing them. Some people know how to use them; others are just interested in the wonder of their complex scents.Essential oils are as…

Live and Learn

​The other shoe

by HPR Contributor

By Elizabeth Nawrotnawrot@mnstate.eduI look up from my hotel lobby breakfast astonished to see a framed print of Wassily Kandinsky's "Mit und Gegen,” a masterpiece of color and composition that just happens to be my favorite…

By Gary Olsonolsong@moravian.eduThe ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas; the class which is the ruling material force in society is at the same time the ruling intellectual force.- Karl Marx and Friedrich…