“Keep a close eye on me in the deep water / Fill my arms with the blame,” he moans. “Breathing ain’t that easy when you’re trying to keep the heat off you / Fill my lungs with your name.” This is powerful stuff, not the type of thin-willed folk you often hear from blues-based singer-songwriters just cutting their solo-career milk-teeth. Kilpatrick’s voice is a heartbroken vessel and it is uniquely matched with the mastery of his craft he displays.
On his Bandcamp page, Kilpatrick pays homage to the lyrics of Joan and The Rivers’ Eric Smith – that band, too, has a new release — and El Camino Sutra’s Keith Damron; his work fits alongside both well, taking the minute details and making them emblematic. And, while Kilpatrick’s work with garage-soul trio Failure Machine (I’m thinking mostly of Elko) is fairly amped-up and colorful, his work here is much smaller, more intimate, almost hushed. But nothing is lost in the translation.
There’s not a lot one can say about one-off, one-song singles but, if “Lungs” is any indication of his future solo efforts, take note now: you’re going to want to keep an eye on this guy.