The music business of the last 50 years is dead. Everyone knows that. The few major labels left standing are all but on their last gasps. Artists can’t rely on an A&R exec to shepherd and fund their every whim anymore, and most musicians choose to go it alone, armed with a DIY toolkit and a little bit of luck.
Americana singer/songwriter Jas Patrick might be considered something of a champion for those taking their music careers into their own hands. His newest offering, Inky Ovine, was mostly written and recorded in his apartment, every instrument (with the exception of bass and pedal steel) played with his own two hands. Why would a master craftsman rely on others to wield his tools, after all? Sure, it took upwards of three years to get it all together, but the end result is totally worth it.
Bordering a bit on blues and adding in a sprinkling of country (a total requisite for any Nashville-based artist), Inky Ovine is the kind of built-from-the-ground-up collection that’s hard to come by these days. Even though it’s only six tracks, each one is super sized, many surpassing the five-minute mark. Opener and single “Harpy” is a blistering rock ‘n’ blues tune with rip-roaring vocals and an infectious guitar riff. Just to prove his versatility, Patrick eases up a bit on “Party Line (Classified),” transitioning the direction of the album as expertly as a sea captain steering his ship. The album’s title track veers into true indie-rock territory, while “Little Bug” captures a bit of dreaminess in its instrumentation. Concluding with the manic “Didn’t Ask” and the pastiche that is “Snow Day,” Patrick seems to hurry to cram in the rest of his musical prowess before wrapping.
Don’t worry, Jas, you’ve proved your mettle as one of the shiniest stars in the indie sky. This is one artist to watch, folks.
For more about Jas Patrick and Inky Ovine, visit his website.