No one radiates DIY quite like Field Medic. Kevin Patrick, the band’s sole member, has been gracing basements and Bandcamp servers with catchy, touching, indie-folk ballads for nearly a decade. Four years in, he wrote a song called “-h-o-u-s-e-k-e-y-z-.” Six years after that, on April 24, 2020, he felt it was ready to be properly released.
Cutting between a tumbling, finger-plucked lead, wiry acoustic fiddling, and slow emo strums, the instrumentation alone on “-h-o-u-s-e-k-e-y-z-” displays Field Medic’s disparate but complementary influences. In an interview with $RZ&$, Patrick names Bob Dylan, 2Pac, and The Scene Aesthetic as his greatest musical inspirations.
In 2017, Field Medic signed to Boston’s own Run For Cover records. Since then, he’s been on tour seemingly nonstop, and the road has deeply seeped into his music. On “-h-o-u-s-e-k-e-y-z-,” however, Patrick slows down to reflect. He sings, “there’s something strange inside me / digging holes with house keys / i’ve grown vulgar, vacant, & angry / so patient & passive / I thought that would make me wise.” Most lines in this song—and most field medic songs—are raw splatters of his unmistakably honest self.
On Twitter, Field Medic kindly adds a more concrete setting to his moody lyrics on “-h-o-u-s-e-k-e-y-z-.” He explains, “i wrote this back when i was a full time busker, had a trap phone & no computer. paying $400 to live in the tiniest sunroom of all time in SF. i probably typed the lyrics up on a typewriter.”
Just before “-h-o-u-s-e-k-e-y-z” officially dropped, Patrick gifted fans with an intimate performance of the song, live from his own backyard. In signature fashion, he rattles off some endearing stage banter before he begins. The video and audio are both caked in analog distortion, which compliments his nostalgic lyrics.