Patrick Ames – “Help People Up”


The Virtualistics is a newly released album from Napa Valley-based artist Patrick Ames, impressing prior with album tracks “You Make Me Scream“, “Reawakened 2020,” and “Second Wave.” Ames wrote the album’s eight tracks during the pandemic, each one offering its own form of hopefulness and resilience. Among the new cuts, opener “Help People Up” is a funky, affirming highlight that touts a message to help others — especially in times of great need. The multiple vocal layers are joined enjoyably by a warming organ amidst the funky rhythmic backdrop and brassy flourishes. “Help People Up” is a great way to kickstart this satisfying album from Ames, streaming in full below.

Ames elaborates in detail on the album, below:

“The Virtualistics. The band that never met. Remote collaboration is common but we never met during a difficult pandemic year. The four of us never practiced together. We didn’t sing together nor did we pre-plan the final sound. We were virtual entities, duly recording our tracks on various home devices and sending them in for assembly. Those famous photographs of The Virtualistics, studious musicians playing on stage, hard working in the studio, those tired looks of a fifth take, none of that happened. We never sang or played together.

Amazingly, it sounds like we were together, unvirutally, I guess is the word. It sounds like a 9-piece band that is funkin’ up the place even though we were half-depressed and struggled with work, virus, and bad politics. Half of the songs were released as singles mostly because I didn’t want to be depressed and fed upon that new release excitement every few months.

It’s been a year of virtual studio sessions that require large leaps of faith when you’re contributing to a song that isn’t finished yet and sounded like a sketch. It’s like that group game where everyone adds one line to the preexisting story going around in a circle and by the time everyone speaks the story is unbelieveably creative and interesting. Start with a few lyrics, add a riff or two, start weaving in counter melodies, add some phat beats – each song went around the Virtualistics circle a few times.”

“Help People Up” and other memorable tracks from this month can also be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of June 2021’ Spotify playlist.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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