FORMER Tybee Island resident Patrick Carroll now calls Rockaway Beach home after a musical transition that found him putting his longtime band on hiatus. The guitarist and singer, known for being a member of buzz band Les Racquet, is emerging as a solo artist under the moniker Patsy and taking on a more surf and folk-oriented sound with his first EP.
The first single from Patsy’s EP, called “Fucking Amazing,” blends elements of traditional American folk music and surf rock to create an organic and earthy sound that’s sonically moving and engaging. Patsy, who’s playing El Rocko Lounge on Feb. 23, is a much different and evolved artist from the Les Racquet guitarist he was several years ago - something he seems to be embracing.
“We were kind of just road dogs,” he says of his early days with the band that led him to town after forming in Brooklyn. “Just kind of perpetually touring for a long time. When we played through Savannah and Tybee after that, we had kind of a magical introduction. The universe just started pulling us in that direction.”
Patsy says that it was the people he met in town, and the response the band was getting from both audiences and venues, that made him and his bandmates settle on Tybee for a number of years before going their separate ways. After the band splintered, Patsy began working on what would become his first solo project, out March 1st.
“These songs are a couple years in the works. When Les Racuet disbanded I started working on this stuff, but I had to get back to some normal semblance of life. I moved to Rockaway Beach and decided I didn’t want to tour for a while,” he says.
“That was about two or three years ago that I moved to Rockaway, and then eventually I got dragged back into playing with a group of guys up here. In the course of about two years, we sort of put together a couple albums’ worth of music.”
Patsy says his time in Savannah gave him an education on Americana music, opening his eyes to the music of John Prine and introducing him to people like Sturgill Simpson. When he moved to Rockaway Beach, he started listening to both surf rock and psych rock music and quickly realized an opportunity to combine elements of all of it.
“I would sum up this project as a meeting of those two places in my life,” he says. “I’ve always liked psychedelia, so it’s the meeting of those two things.”
Patsy and the musicians he started collaborating with after moving to Rockaway Beach recorded the entire EP live with minimal overdubs - something the guitarist and songwriter says was an important factor for him.
“It was the three of us in a large tracking room, playing live,” he explains. “It was just very natural.”
The EP also has a film element attached to it, as Patsy’s wife is a noted filmmaker who ended up using the songs as the score for a project she’d been working on. Interestingly enough, Laura Nesci’s film project and her husband’s recording project were never meant to intertwine - until they both realized how well the two worked together.
“It’s basically a companion film that my wife shot over the course of the year or so that we were making the record,” he explains.
“She got into shooting Super 8, which is a very interesting medium. It has a nostalgic quality that I really love. We didn’t set out to take on that massive of a project, but once we started getting the footage back and cutting it with the music, we realized we had an entire story and a natural companion to the EP.”
Patsy says that the film lends itself well to the theme of the EP, which deals with the idea of phenomena.
“It’s just about the wild and crazy shit that we deal with in our day-to-day lives,” he says. “It’s also sort of an ode to our new hometown. We just really love it. It reminds me a lot of Tybee, actually. A little blue collar beach community on the edge of the city.”