Local folk rock band Patch plans to release full-length album

Molly Much

Nestled in a cabin in the Appalachian Mountains, Benton Allen and Taylor Tazewell began writing song after song for their newly formed, Austin-based band Patch.

“The cabin we were living in was on Patch Drive,” Allen said. “And we found a stray cat out there that we named Patch. For months, we were out there writing songs together, and we were like, ‘What are we going to call the band?’ And, once again, we settled on Patch.”

A self-proclaimed “dark folkrock project,” the band combines folk instrumentations with haunting vocals and features instruments such as the accordion. After relocating to Austin in 2012 to include their friend, UT alumnus Wesley Maffly-Kipp, the band recorded four EPs, releasing their latest, Snowflake, this March. 

“We knew we wanted [Maffly-Kipp] to be a part of [Patch], and we knew that Austin was a good city to be in as far as making music goes, so it just seemed like the right place,” Tazewell said.

While much of the group’s current set includes the songs Allen and Tazewell wrote while in Virginia, Maffly-Kipp said he hasn’t shied away from collaborating. 

The three previously formed a band in middle school, and, after reuniting three years ago, Allen said they have a musical connection that makes the creative process more comfortable. 

“We kind of learned all of our instruments — bass and drums and guitar, at least — together, so that probably shaped the way we write together now,” Allen said.

With the release of its latest EP, the band added drummer Ben Humphreys to the mix and plans to record its first full-length album in September. The band hopes to keep their ideas original on the album, which will include new material alongside some of their classics. Tazewell said playing the same songs again and again for years at a time can become stale.

“This time around, we hope to craft a more complete album as opposed to a collection of songs,” Tazewell said. “Something with a little more cohesion behind it. For us, [writing is] a very organic process in that nothing’s ever really 100 percent done.”

As for their current mode of songwriting, Maffly-Kipp said they tend to deal with a fairly mixed bag of inspirations. 

“Generally someone will have an idea, bring it to practice, and we’ll just go,” Maffly-Kipp said. “Sometimes they’ll be more fully formed, sometimes it’s just a little melody or chorus part or something, and we all just work from there.”

Their next performance in Austin is set for Oct. 3 with Ditch The Fest, an alternative to Austin City Limits that supports local musicians. The band also has a loosely planned tour of the East Coast in store for summer 2016. 

“Live is more fun,” Tazewelll said. “You can respond to the crowd’s energy, and when Ben starts twirling his sticks — you’ll never get to enjoy that in a recording.”