The fourth full-length solo effort from the Colorado singer/songwriter and founding member of the Denver-based indie-folk collective Paper Bird, There Will Come Soft Rains takes its name from a poem by Sara Teasdale, and the final tale, one of destruction and rebirth, in Ray Bradbury's short story collection The Martian Chronicles. A small evolution in sound for Esme Patterson, the ten-track set builds on the retro-Americana garage-pop stylings of 2016's We Were Wild, pairing jangly Velvet Underground-inspired guitars with synthy dream pop, resulting in a collection of songs that feel ardent and sonically homespun, yet flush with their own idiosyncratic style. Patterson's heart and soul are in flux from the get-go, with the sprightly opener "Shelby Tell Me Everything" spinning an Alvvays-esque tale of new love and the punchy power pop follow-up "Out the Door" spilling over with existential despair. The soulful "Light in Your Window" pines for a relationship gone south, while the lovely and languid "All Mine" wrestles self-love from the cruel grip of loneliness -- "I'm just fine being all mine." Produced with ramshackle warmth by fellow Denverites Tennis (husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley), who also contribute background vocals and a host of different instruments, There Will Come Soft Rains' offbeat emotional meter and liquidy atmospherics can be difficult to parse at first, as Patterson has a way of disappearing into the material. However, these off-kilter indie-pop gems begin to sparkle with repeated listens.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger