iTunes Single of the Week: “Dearly Departed” – Shakey Graves feat. Esme Patterson

By Audrey Deng

via Shakey Graves
via Shakey Graves

This folksy song features a style reflective of the mid-20th century in the Midwest. With a playful chorus and a sense of comedy in spoken words (Shakey Graves hissing like a ssssssnake), Shakey Grave’s collaboration with Ms. Patterson is a successful one. It is a relentlessly upbeat song and pairs well with the sensation one gets when thinking about taking road trips to Wyoming. It is certainly a singularly-focused song, but it is not a bad one at all. It’s cute and it’s happy. The rapport between the two artists makes the song memorable.

Shakey Graves is a self-described “Texas Gentleman.” He is a one-man band – he once used a suitcase as a bass drum in his earlier days. Shakey Graves recently made his television debut on the Conan show, which was met with enthusiasm. His real name is Alejandro Rose-Garcia. On his blog (connected to his website, on which he communicates directly with fans), he displays a sense of humor reflective in his music: in response to a question about how to get a “hollow” guitar sound, he said, “I…soak my strings in rabbit blood, but that’s just for protection.” His tour takes him next to Nashville, TN, but he will perform a sold-out show in New York’s Bowery Ballroom on October 26.

Esme Patterson is a solo artist based in Denver, Colorado. She specializes in rock and folk music. In 2013, she performed at the TEDxMileHigh concert, singing her own songs from the perspective of the women featured in men’s pining songs: Caroline (“Caroline No,” the Beach Boys), Eleanor Rigby (“Eleanor Rigby,” the Beatles), and Irene (“Goodnight Irene,” made famous by the Weavers). She has a very unique voice, which she features in her latest album, “Woman to Woman,” released April 15, 2014. She will join Shakey Graves on tour.

Audrey Deng is a staff writer. Email her at music@nyunews.com.

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