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Alexandra Patsavas. The name may not be familiar to you but if you’ve followed music at all for the last decade, her tastes have likely had some bearing on what ends up on your iPod. Patsavas is the music supervisor behind such network tv shows as The O.C. and Grey’s Anatomy, and in that role she has probably been more responsible for bringing relatively obscure artists to mass audiences than any other person operating during the same time period. While many will likely roll their eyes at the thought of musical montages featuring ridiculously attractive doctors having emotional crises, there’s no denying that Patsavas shined a deserved spotlight on more than a few very worthwhile artists (in addition to countless legions of bland secretary rockers, the inevitable downside of her efforts.)
One such deserving artist to get a boost from featured placement on Grey’s Anatomy is Oxford, Mississippi’s Sanders Bohlke, whose tune “The Weight of Us” turned up on the show a few years back. An ethereal folk tune with echoes of Damien Rice and Nick Drake, “The Weight of Us” subsequently spread from Grey’s Anatomy to other shows in need of Bohlke’s somber gravitas to add the emotional heft the shows themselves were seemingly incapable of generating on their own, such as Smallville and The Vampire Diaries.
Any attention directed Bohlke’s way is a good thing, because as demonstrated by “Quiet Ye Voices,” he’s definitely worth the focus. Bohlke tips his hand with the title, showing that he’s more interested in the timeless and the slightly archaic than he is in being particularly contemporary. One gets the feeling that he wouldn’t be too upset if audiences were to assume that the song was an old ballad passed down for generations in remote Appalachian villages. However, he’s picked the perfect time to be timeless, as the swooping vocal harmonies he constructs to cushion his own voice put “Quiet Ye Voices” squarely in the same camp as the similarly out-of-time Fleet Foxes, and Bohlke proves himself to be just as fleet of foot as that combo.
So a round of thanks ought to be extended to Alexandra Patsavas. As the traditional outlets for musicians to get their work heard by the public began to wither over the last decade, she stepped up and opened a new door via prime time weepies. While a lot of the artists that burst through that door could have remained mired in obscurity with no detriment to the world at large, the occasional emergence of artists with the level of Sanders Bohlke ultimately makes Patsavas’ work worthwhile.
The Quiet Ye Voices 7″ was released in mid-August as a part of Communicating Vessels‘ limited edition vinyl singles series (which also includes an installment from previously featured act The Great Book of John).