Recent college graduate and Iowa-native, David John Patton, had a breakout moment when his self-recorded song, “Motives,” found its way to Spotify’s ‘Lush + Atmospheric’ Playlist in 2018. With over 500k streams, this track caught the attention of Vancouver-based producer, Tyler Johnson. Johnson invited Patton to Vancouver, where they tracked the five songs comprising his sophomore EP, ‘From the Garden’ in just seven days.
His latest single, “Safety,” is his third release in anticipation of the upcoming EP. “Safety” premieres today on American Songwriter and will be available everywhere on January 24th.
This track is a thoughtful meditation on the questions that ran through Patton’s mind as he began to explore the next steps of his romantic relationship. While many around him were diving into marriage, Patton used his songwriting to run through the fears and questions that he held.
The delicate instrumentation carries his vocals down a stream of consciousness. The lyrics reflect a bona fide effort to make informed and confident decisions about proposing to his girlfriend at the time, who is now his wife, as of this month.
“Much like my own thought process, the song doesn’t really reach a tidy, perfect conclusion beyond simply taking steps forward amidst the fear and questions.”
“Safety” serves as a prelude to the EP, “From The Garden.” Patton expressed that part of the title points to Steinbeck’s East of Eden. He identified a similar state of unbalance and the theme of exploration through this place. This record contains more questions than answers. With this comes more fear and less confidence.
Each track examines the ambivalence of a transitional time in Patton’s life. The EP is top-heavy with conflict and uncertainty. Working from beginning to end, it unfolds to some resolve.
“The final few songs begin to glimpse some conclusions that I was reaching amidst uncertainty,” said Patton. “I hope listeners will recognize themselves in the songs and find comfort in their own circumstances.”
Patton was first introduced to the piano at a young age. It was not long before he picked up the guitar. He began performing in the choir at church. While in high school, Patton came into his own as a singer-songwriter. His discovery of Bon Iver, specifically, “To Emma, Forever Ago,” was a defining moment as he began to embrace acoustic folk. He continued to develop as a songwriter during college, where he wrote and recorded his first EP, ‘Forest Park’ in 2018.
“When you listen to my music, I hope you feel known like someone is going through the same thing,” he leaves off. “I just want to relate to normal people and their journeys.”
Listen to the premiere of “Safety” on American Songwriter here and everywhere else tomorrow.