Recorded away from their residential Manchester in a remote and isolated location, Patterns – made up of Ciaran McAuley (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Alex Hillhouse (bass/samplers), Jamie Lynch (drums) and Laurence Radford (guitar/samplers) – emerge out of the darkness with this, their brilliant shimmering debut single on Melodic.
Both ‘Induction’ and ‘Throwing Stones’ echo their rural hideout’s open terrain and almost cinematic space, evoking a setting where time becomes irrelevant, cast aside as the man made creation it is, and days become lost in quiet reflection, a melancholic tinge affecting the tracks as a result. Patterns’ lead singer Ciaran McAuley paints a more abstract picture, “we wanted to evoke the kind of woozy hynotic space you get when you’re somewhere between sleeping and being awake,” he explains, “the weird mix of memories and visions you get when you’re disassociated from your body.”
Written “about being young and trying to create your place in the world,” what strikes one about the songs wash of pop-infused psychedelic shoegaze is how they, like seminal contemporaries Deerhunter and Panda Bear, look to those initial walls of dissonance made influential by the likes of Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine, but then soften the edges. Experimenting with electronics and more hushed reverb and delay, they seek to create something otherworldly, yet all the while pushing their vocals forward enough to provide a real emotional core.
Regards their influences, McAuley admits a debt to the aforementioned 80s innovators but stresses, “we’ve never wanted to be a rock band in the same way that those guys were. We want to make music that’s somewhere in between drone and pop, almost like it’s stretched in two different directions.” Indeed, of equal importance to the patchwork that makes up Patterns sound is the spatial electronica and glitch of Flying Lotus and the Brainfeeder roster, while McAuley also talks enthusiastically of Gold Panda’s warped pop.
“It’s definitely influenced us,” he states, “we’re against this whole idea of four musicians going into a studio and letting someone straightforwardly record us playing. Once we’ve recorded what we need to we go right back to the bedroom and mess with everything. I use Ableton live, an SP 404 sampler, a Microkorg XL and a whole load of plug-ins to create music this way - basically how an electronic artist would.”
Mixing this with more tangential names and ideas, such as the surrealist cinema of Luis Bunuel, the philosophy of Jacques Derrida and the writings of Franz Kafka and Milan Kundera, it’s clear that the group have a sound that works across a myriad of different levels.
At a time when most new bands are shouting loudly, desperately in your face for attention at every turn, Patterns’ rise to prominence is a refreshing recall to the days when new music and sounds were discovered as a result of meandering exploration, when gems were stumbled upon live, hiding away in metropolitan backwaters or isolated rural territories. In the four-piece’s case they were “found” last year in the basement venue of a Mancunian suburb, curating their own monthly shows – having only formed some weeks previously - their sincere, wistful dream-pop drifting up and out of the stairwell, illuminating their surroundings, painting its maudlin Autumnal streets in soft-glow Technicolor. Truly though, their real induction starts now.