Field Medic's Anxious New Single Is About Saying Fuck It and Doing Drugs
We talk to the San Francisco artist about anxiety, sobriety, and "Do a Little Dope" from his new Run For Cover compilation 'Songs From the Sunroom.'
Photo by Ben DeCastro
One scroll through Kevin Patrick's already massive catalog as Field Medic and it's clear he's got an oddball sense of humor. His Bandcamp page is littered tracks with titles as off-kilter "P E G A S U S T H O T Z" and "Fuck These Foolz That Are Making Valencia Street Unchill" and his online persona is just a few absurdist memes removed from Weird Twitter. But in this San Francisco-based bedroom folk artist's deceptively simple songs—most often featuring just guitar and drums, sometimes a little banjo—is as much heart as there is humor.
Since 2014, Patrick has become a de facto bard for the hyper-online and anxiety-plagued, releasing several singles, EPs, improvised mixtapes, and a 2015 full-length light is gone, most self-recorded in his then-apartment's sunroom. He jokes about how his music tackles worry over the phone. "Some people talk about having stage fright but I have like life fright all day long," he says. "I get anxious and paranoid and then the minute that I get on stage I feel really comfortable and happy."
There are countless lovelorn and nervous gems throughout his sprawling discography, like his 2016 EP that beer called becks reminds me of a haiku i wrote where he yearningly sings of hangovers and true love. But Run For Cover Records has whittled it all down to 15-song compilation Songs From the Sunroom, on Friday, November 10.
"The sunroom was a really magical place for a short amount of time," Patrick says. "I lived there for like five years and it was very affordable. It was 400 bucks and I was just the illegal tenant of the house. My roommate called me the third cat." Though he's since moved, all of Songs From The Sunroom written during Patrick's stay at that apartment and all but one have already been released. That track "Do a Little Dope," which Noisey is premiering here, might be his most undeniably infectious and darkly funny yet. Recorded live during a gig at San Francisco's The Lost Church, the track is a fingerpicked ode to saying, "fuck it."
On the song, his welcoming tenor repeats throughout, "If all that's left to be done has died / might as well do me a little dope / might as well do me a little dope before I go." Patrick explains he wrote the song at a "weird time" in his life.
"I thought I could just do what I wanted, do hella drugs, and say yes to everything," He says. "It was destructive because I felt like the life I was leading was for whatever reason ineffective. It's funny because sometimes when I'm super dark like that is when I tend to write songs that are funny feeling and have a silly vibe. It helped me bring me out of that feeling. I figured I was going to die anyway and I might as well just get hella high."
Like the other offerings from Songs From the Sunroom, "Do a Little Dope" is a document of a more turbulent time that Patrick has since escaped, more or less. "I've been sober for like a month and four days or so," He jokes. "It's been going great. It's been really refreshing honestly. It's just cool to try something new because if your mode of life is getting drunk all the time I feel like getting sober then is the equivalent of getting drunk."
Sobriety and leaving the sunroom aren't the only big changes is Patrick's life. Now signed to Run For Cover, he's played shows with Pinegrove's Evan Stephens Hall and the Neighbourhood. He's planning a tour, writing his first proper label full-length, and grappling with finally having an audience. "I'm in touch with like so many more people than I've ever been in my whole life in the last like three months," he says. "It's been kind of crazy. I'm just down to play folk music for the people."
Listen to "Do a Little Dope" here, in advance of the release of Songs From the Sunroom on Run For Cover on November 10.
Field Medic tour dates:
December 2 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex
December 7 - Austin, TX - Emo's*
December 8 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall*
December 9 - Dallas, TX - House of Blues*
* w/ The Neighborhood