Perhaps best known as a member of Wilco since 2004, multi-instrumentalist Patrick Sansone has recently branched out in an effort to explore his own sound.
And the first taste of this new sound comes in the form of his debut single, the atmospheric and somber track, “Smokey Day.”
Sansone uses his seasoned skill in composition and arrangement to bring listeners into his unique interpretation of this Colin Blunstone-penned song. True to the track’s title, the song is a hazy tale of entrancement, chock full of beautiful harmonies and elegant orchestration.
Sansone’s version of the song offers a deep, rich interpretation, showcasing in particular a bit of his Beatle’s influence. As he sings, “How her perfume still entrances / Soft, serene she dances / Moving sweetly through my life,” listeners are whisked away by his enchanting voice.
Accompanying the single is a music video directed by Sansone himself and shot in Iceland, exhibiting stunning yet eerie views of Mother Nature through a black and white lens. The camera seems to follow him on a journey through trees and fields, capturing the vastness he portrays in the song. Working alongside Mae Moreno, he creates a stunning visual landscape that pairs seamlessly with the track.
Sansone has been working in some facet of the music industry a majority of his life. He began working in a recording studio at age 14 while his father ran a concert venue in his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi. Music would infiltrate every part of his life, allowing him to start to hone his craft at a young age.
In 1999, Sansone and fellow Wilco band member John Stirratt formed The Autumn Defense in New Orleans, having since released five studio albums. Five years later, he would find himself in one of the biggest indie Americana bands of the era with the Jeff Tweedy-led unit, and he’s been off to the races since.
The multi-instrumentalist plays a variety of instruments for the band, alternating between guitar to keys to maracas and in between. Assisting in the writing and recording process for the band’s Sky Blue Sky, Wilco, and The Whole Love, Sansone has been an integral part of the band’s ongoing success.
“Smokey Day” is a great example of the musical and creative expertise Sansone has built over the years. His interpretation is a thoughtful homage, and surely we’ll be seeing much more as we approach 2024.