"Never saw the world, til’ I saw it through your eyes…"
Not sure who the serene and cerebral Pat Hull is addressing here, but I’m more than confident the feeling is mutual. If not, their loss.
The prolific professor, from Chico, CA, has released another siren song. Again, all the temptation and anticipation of the single leaves me yearning for more. Thankfully, there’s an album on the horizon. It’s called the Denmark Sessions. Pat returned to Portland, OR with engineer and producer Mark Robertson and drummer Sean Raeside to record a set of live performances on analogue, reel-to-reel tape. While waiting for the release of the full album, he released the song, “Fall In.” The song perfectly demonstrates his aim to create rawer and grittier tracks that render a palpable emotional response.
From the opening sequence of “Fall In,” the rich texture of the strings and the haunting melody produced by his guitar and an electric accompaniment seduces me into the mysticism of nostalgia. Utterly disarmed and vulnerable, the intro queues up a space of solemnity and beautification. I wait in the fog, knowing that when it dissipates a faint window into the serene landscape will emerge.
As he sings his first lyric, the mist curls around the brief still-frame scene and a melancholic story plays out in verse. I catch fledgling images of a relationship past. It is fleeting and cinematic, yet always almost there – impressions with the potency and impact of a novel. Just as the celebrated painters, songwriters, and poets have done before, the emotional renderings of this relationship are masterfully portrayed.
The feeling of regret and beauty in longing lace softly with forgiveness, weaving together the gentleness of two hands about to touch. There is pain and atonement in the song’s memory. Through the brief glimpses his story, Pat weaves together the past, present, and future. The deftness and finesse of the lyrics call on Neil Young’s Harvest and the words of “Raglan Road” written by Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh.
As transport from scene to scene, a lyric will end with a snare pop that syncs me back into real-time, resetting just before immersing again. The story and ambience are so vivid and bewitching that it is easy forget the grace and intricacy of the rhythm section. However, that is the magic of this song. Not one part plays a more important role than the other; which is the essence of a true dream, and of true art.
I can’t escape the Proustian narrative when listening (fifth time now). Tore the door off the hinge/ what better way, to invite you in. You got that right Pat. Tear out the door and let the unconscious play with the world. Never let that passage shut again. All our tomorrows become yesterdays. Being is moving forward into the past.
I’m in the dream, losing self. It is a hall of mirrors and fog. It’s a metaphysical strut. Here, with a chance to do it all again: the derivations of those painful moments, possible again through creation, through nostalgia. Atonement lies in confronting yesteryear’s regrets. I’m reaching with my hand, no his or hers, and she or he is turning away briefly with a Cheshire grin before evaporating into the fog of time past.
“The songs stem from a shattering of a picture of love I thought could hang up on my wall and watch for eternity.
I wrote these songs while picking up these pieces, awkwardly trying to collage them back together into something else. Like breaking your arm and frantically trying to reset it.” - Pat Hull
The pain is real and sublimates into the listener with ease. Because, it is a feeling we’ve all encountered. It is finding resolution through loss. And like the talent Pat is, he enlists the listener to become the narrator. Identity is lost and only the agency of nostalgia remains. There is no answer, only beauty and art in the memory.
It’s all a cycle. We Fall in / Fall in / Fall in…
- Dan Talamantes