Feature: Andrew Patterson – “Normal People”

After constantly gigging and releasing music over the last five years, Belfast-based singer-songwriter Andrew Patterson released his latest single, “Normal People” on Friday last (February 12).

Taking inspiration from Sally Rooney’s 2018 novel Normal People, as well as the acclaimed 2020 television adaptation, Patterson was captivated by lead characters Marianne Sheridan and Connell Waldron, and their attempts to achieve a sense of belonging as they transition into adulthood in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. Andrew also sees the lyrics as a reflection of what made the show relatable to himself:

“[‘Normal People’ was] also inspired by my own journey, the song is a call to the struggle in each of us to fit in despite all of our quirks and insecurities. The realisation becomes that really, no one is truly normal, and everyone is searching for the same sense of belonging.”

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Recorded in Subzero Studios last July with producer Michael McCluskey, the track features Chris McCann on drums, with mastering done by Pete Maher, with the latter being known for his work with U2, The Killers, Snow Patrol, and Damien Rice.

A folk-pop track at its core, “Normal People” fittingly, would not feel too out of place as part of the soundtrack from the show which it is based on.

Dominated by a constant acoustic guitar which sits in the background, the track contrasts nicely between its optimistic sound and its cautious lyrics reminiscing of the “darkness of these days”, which can be applied to both the story of Normal People and the events of the past year or so.

There is also an earnestness to Andrew’s vocal delivery which can often be lacking within the folk-pop genre, as it is often easy for either the vocals or lyrics to come off as being either insincere or melodramatic. Having such strong source material as an inspiration definitely does not do any harm to the track.

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“Normal People” follows Andrew Patterson’s 2019 EP Out of Babylon, an intimate indie-folk/pop release which received critical praise; as well as the singles “Upon the Shore” and “Little Darlin’”.

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Adam Gibbons
Adam Gibbons

Adam Gibbons is a journalist, photographer, blogger, and poet, who primarily writes on music, travel, and mental health. Check out his blog, "Mad for Notepads".

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