Patrick Damphier, the Los Angeles singer/songwriter, is sharing his new album Say I’m Pretty. The full-length is described as a collection of sun-kissed guitar pop that effortlessly glides across its 45-minute run time, that appeals to fans of Real Estate, Beach Fossils, and the shimmering, guitar pop of peak-era Rough Trade Records. Say I’m Pretty sees it’s release, today, (order here) and features contributions from Jessica Lea Mayfield, Molly Parden, and the late Richard Swift.
Since the breakup of his band, Paper Rival, Damphier has lent his talents as a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer to The Mynabirds, Richard Swift, Molly Parden, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Tim Easton, Houndmouth, Stone Jack Jones, Fences, Sun Seeker, The Arcs and Jessica Lea Mayfield—with whom he’s performed as a sideman, producer and songwriter, contributing the song “Offa My Hands” to her most recent album, Sorry Is Gone. That track—as well her previous album, Make My Head Sing—was recorded at Damphier’s old studio in south Nashville.
Say I’m Pretty was written, performed, recorded and mixed by Damphier himself, though he had some valuable assistance from collaborators Jessica Lea Mayfield, Molly Parden, Nicole Atkins and Richard Swift. The songs that make up the record were culled from a catalog of more than 150. “I was brought up around songwriting,” says Damphier, whose dad, Tom Damphier, came to Nashville at the invitation of Loretta Lynn, and later wrote Reba McEntire’s first #1, “Can’t Even Get the Blues.” “My approach is that the song has to be able to be played—and sustain itself—with one chordal instrument, lyric and melody. I’m not trying to be Nashville Writer’s Night Dude, but if the song can pass that test then I’ll bring it into the studio and experiment with it.”
“I know people get bored really easy, and I do too,” Damphier says, “so I try to change stuff up. I like the second verse to be different than the third. It doesn’t have to be night and day, but just some little thing to make listeners realize there’s something new happening. I like to keep things moving.”