Perhaps it's his Americana roots sound or track titles that reference Midwestern states, but Patrick Bloom appears clearly influenced by the heartland. He does, after all, call Iowa City, Iowa, home.
Yet this Hawkeye knows how to please listeners outside of corn country. With smart lyrics like "Fortune is a tricky high/slick and silver as a spoon," and his Jeff Tweedy-styled vocals, Bloom hits an easygoing rhythm that's pleasant on the ears.
In some ways, however, that style haunts Ghosts of Radio. The repertoire, as a whole, never fully explores any edgy or inspirational instrumentation. Somewhere in the background, a keyboard is dying to ring out, but even astute ears can never quite make out the harmonies. And when the brass and horns come in on "Rosalie," they sound muted and muddy.
No matter—I'm guessing Bloom would prefer listeners focus on his vocals. His simple and understated songs are sung with vigor and pair nicely with his acoustic strumming. His voice and writing alone are enough to earn him fans from across the country.
Patrick Bloom plays The Cellars Friday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 PM. $5.