Released on October 8th, “Better Offers” features the chimey, ear-worm guitar riffs and smooth vocals of Patrick Sewalk, along with tight and groovy drums from Logan Todd. This laid back indie-rock anthem’s lyrics cheekily explore feelings of social insecurities, FOMO, and youth culture in Nashville.
Sewalk (originally from Ohio) and Todd (originally from Memphis) met each other while attending college in Nashville in 2012. Bonding over their mutual love of indie-rock, they felt inspired and decided to start making music together. This dynamic duo is heavily influenced by bands such as The War on Drugs, Tame Impala, and Grizzly Bear, but they also incorporate many elements from other genres like jazz, R&B, and folk.
After playing together in various groups and opening for acts such as COIN, Deerhunter, and Liza Anne, the duo officially formed Patzy, releasing their debut full-length record Opus Uno in 2018. They quickly became one of Nashville’s up-and-coming indie rock acts, and have continued to make a name for themselves in the ever burgeoning Nashville music scene.
The duo didn’t let the pandemic stifle their creativity, as they continued to record material and even began producing other bands. During 2021, they released a string of four singles, including “Doin’ Alright,” “Bleeding,” “Tourist In Your Love,” and their latest, “Better Offers.”
We had the chance to ask the guys some questions about the new single and more.
How would you describe the band’s sound and style to those wondering what Patzy is all about?
That’s a tricky question, I’m still trying to figure out how to answer that because I still don’t think we’ve arrived at our sound. What we’re trying to do is deliver the best things that pop music has to offer (infectious melodies, grooves, etc.) through the lens of compelling textures and sounds. We pull from influences ranging the folk of the 60’s, soul from the 70’s, modern psychedelia and electronica to create some groovy tunes.
I was hoping you could talk about your new single, “Better Offers.” What’s the story behind it?
Some songs take me a long time to finish, but some like “Better Offers” just kind of pop out. I was hanging out in my studio one Friday evening, killing time before I had some vague plans to hang out with a friend later on. As it got later, I still hadn’t heard from them and all I could think was, “Wow, they’re totally bailing on me to go off and do something else.” Feeling bitter and mindlessly strumming along on my guitar, “Better Offers” popped out. It’s a pretty sarcastic tune, but I like it because I get to poke fun at anxieties regarding socializing and FOMO. I ended up recording a little demo right there, then found out my friend hadn’t bailed at all. 🙂
Can you walk us through the band’s creative process when fleshing out a song like this?
Drums probably take the title for my favorite instrument, so when I’m writing a song like “Better Offers,” I’m also hearing how it will groove and what the drums will be doing. For this one, I immediately heard a classic power-pop thing reminiscent of a song like “In The Street” by Big Star. Logan (drummer) and I are very much on the same page when it comes to knowing what a song needs to hit right, so I bring a finished song or a fragment of a song to him and we jam on it until we have the core of the groove. We’re fortunate enough to both be producers/engineers, so all that’s left for us is to head in to one of our studios and put it down! Our friend Gusti Escalante is an excellent guitarist and has a great musical ear, so we usually hit him up to put down some texture or additional lead guitar.
How do you know when a song is finished? Do you find yourself wanting to keep tinkering and re-recording tracks etc.?
This is always a struggle, and we’re getting better at this as we’ve matured musically. Because we produce our own music, there’s nothing stopping us from tweaking and tweaking recordings until the end of time. You get to a point when you realize that you’re never going to show the world your work until you finally say “done.” We do our best to keep the mindset that simplicity is always better, and that striving for perfection can often be the enemy of the music itself.
How would you describe your lifestyle as musicians?
It’s probably the best thing about living in Nashville! It’s incredible to live in a city where the best musicians in the world reside and be lucky enough to have some of them be your friends. With so many talented songwriters, everyone basically just plays in each other’s bands. It gets tricky trying to schedule all the rehearsals and tours and things, but I never get bored and it’s a never-ending source of inspiration to just go and see your friends play music.
What are your top three venues to either play at or go to in Nashville?
The 5 Spot is probably my favorite small-sized venue to play in town. The sound is great and the shape of the room makes it feel very comfortable to be on stage. Same with the Basement East whenever we’re lucky enough to play there. Everyone at The Basement/Grimey’s are great people, and with the size of the stage and the quality of the sound it feels like such a treat. As far as seeing bands, I always have a blast at Dee’s.
Top three places to grab a drink or food?
El Jaliciense on Gallatin! It’s not the most polished place, but they were kind to me and Logan before we turned 21 and they will always have a special place in our hearts. They serve delicious authentic Mexican food at a great price. Next is Garden Fresh just north of Inglewood. It’s a Latin Grocery store with a taco bar in the back that serves the best carne asada taco you will ever eat. Am I sensing a trend here? Tough to pick a third but I’ll say Desano pizza in Midtown. I used to work there so I suppose I’m biased, but I’m skeptical that I will ever try a better pizza. Unfortunately the price reflects it.
What are one or two pinnacle moments for you as a band?
This sounds cheesy, but our pinnacle moments are every time we release music! We pour ourselves into our songs and recordings, and the reward is getting to show our friends and fans our work. The release of our first LP is definitely one of them because when we had never recorded a full-length album by ourselves before and we weren’t sure if we were capable. Hopefully our next pinnacle moment is when we buy a van??
What might fans expect to see from Patzy as we close out the year?
Fans are going to see us playing a lot more shows! We’ve been taking the last year and a half of COVID to hone our skills, and we’re coming out better musicians than we’ve ever been. Besides that we’ll be heading back into the studio soon. 😉
Thanks for the interview Music Mecca, glad you enjoy our stuff!
Photo by Agustin Escalante