Isaiah Maina
Russell Patterson, of Slow Close

Slow Close, the solo project of Fayetteville-based musician Russell Patterson, has shared their first song. Created in collaboration with producer John Rhodes, who contributed percussion and piano to the track, “Sugarcoat” is the product of three years of tinkering and rerecording in various DIY studio spaces.

On the surface, “Sugarcoat” has a lot in common with Kin & Company, another Northwest Arkansas band that Patterson and Rhodes play in. It’s a fairly straightforward indie rock song, the kind with a strong enough verse groove that the chorus need not deviate much for it to keep our attention. But upon closer inspection, the track is brimming with spacious layers. Amid the standard electric guitar, bass and drums, there are subtly pulsing synths, roomy piano melodies and even some unrecognizable textures, all of which make the listening experience one of lushness and intrigue.


“A lot of the fun part of recording was getting to go over it with a fine-toothed comb and add little parts that add movement that you may not even really notice, but you feel more than you actually mentally register,” Patterson told us.


Lyrically, “Sugarcoat” is a bit cryptic, but never so much that the listener loses interest. You’ll probably just have to do some interpretation of your own in order to make sense of its slightly foreboding aftertaste. Watch out, though — when Patterson references “a feeling that you can’t explain away / bleeding into everything you do and say,” you might just find yourself projecting whatever insecurity you’ve been pushing down lately.