Field Medic sings through tour anxiety on “used 2 be a romantic”

“My anxiety’s spinning on a compass.”

March 05, 2019
Field Medic sings through tour anxiety on “used 2 be a romantic” Photo: Tim Vickers  

Kevin Patrick, who has already recorded and released a lifetime’s worth of work as Field Medic over the past two years, will return with fade into the dawn, his first Run For Cover full-length since 2017’s Songs from the Sunroom, on April 19. It’s the 27-year-old singer-songwriter’s most complete and, in parts, surreally beautiful record to date — drifting off into lush acoustics more often than it relies on tinned noise, laced with twilit reflections on ruin without succumbing entirely to darkness.

The second single from the record is called “used 2 be a romantic,” premiering below. It’s one of Patrick’s more straightforward folk-leaning songs, built out with a full band and sweet, simple melodies. It is plainly an account of a show gone wrong and the perils of relentless touring: "My anxiety's spinning on a compass,” he sings early on. In an email to The FADER, Patrick recounted the night that pushed him into writing the song. It was, he wrote, a combination of loud-talking show-goers and general tour brutality. This is it in full, exactly as Patrick sent it to us:


i was on tour supporting rock bands as i often am, & generally when i take the stage audiences are willing to chill out & listen to some mellower songs for my set. sometimes it’s a game of give & take, but for the most part it turns out all right & i hear a lot of “i don’t like acoustic music, but i liked you.” (haha) there was a particular show in new york at this venue that was sold out at 500 capacity, but i swear could fit another 500 people. it’s this giant warehouse in brooklyn & the stage is in the far corner & the bar on the complete opposite end. i fought my way through the crowd with my two guitars & boombox to set up, & when the house music died people were still raging & chatting & clinking their glasses. i started off with a number with a huge beat hoping to win their attention but it became clear to me after a few songs in, people just weren’t going to be quiet & listen at all. i’m not the kind of person that feels like people should pay attention to me just because i’m standing there on the stage - i’m more than willing to work for it, but when it becomes obvious that i’m not even going to get that chance it can feel very disheartening. this particular show was a record breaking case of what my friends & i call “clam chatter”. i powered through the set & walked off stage early. disgruntled, all i wanted was to go have a smoke & get a few drinks in me to forget what just happened, but since i was far from home & tour without a tour manager or merch person i had to put my stuff away & immediately face the fray to go stand around at merch hoping to make some sales to turn the night around in some spiritually meaningless, but financially sound way. i was hungover on amtrak on my way to boston the next day & wrote the song in my head. i played it that night & then the first thing i did when i got home from the tour was record the song in a frenzy to expel those bad feelings. it was never even written down on paper, it was just a blast of internalized feelings & i’m glad to have it out. the lyrical content actually makes me a little uneasy listening now because it’s so revealing. tour is weird.


Listen to "used 2 be a romantic" below and check out Field Medic's upcoming tour dates at the foot of the page.

3/14: Austin, TX - Cheer Up Charlies (SXSW)
3/15: Austin, TX - Pearl Steet Co-Op (SXSW)
5/1: Minneapolis, MN - Bryant Lake Bowl
5/3: Chicago, IL - Downstairs at Subterranean
5/4: Cleveland, OH - Agora Theater & Ballroom
5/5: Pittsburgh, PA - The Mr. Roboto Project
5/7: Washington, DC - Songbyrd
5/8: Philadelphia, PA - Everybody Hits
5/9: Allston, MA - O'Briens
5/10: Middletown, CT - Mac650
5/11: Brooklyn, NY - Alphaville

Field Medic sings through tour anxiety on “used 2 be a romantic”