In his impressive debut album Reflection, Vancouver artist Patrick Williams — recording and performing under the name Heroes — comes out of the gate with an eleven-track cross-section of the darkest facets of his twenty four-year-old psyche, delivering a powerful sensory experience while he’s at it.
The opening tracks “I Can’t Believe in You” and “Worthy” set the stage with drum beats forcibly demanding the audience’s attention, complemented by bass and synthesizer work skillfully supporting the neurotic vocals. “I Can’t Believe in You” portrays a fundamental distrust in a partner and an inability to find common emotional ground, while “Worthy” follows up with feelings of insecurity and fear of rejection.
“Look On to Tomorrow” finds Williams once again depicting an experience of finding oneself lost, perplexed and aimless in a negative relationship. Williams’ guitar work on the track gives the audience the sensation that they too are aimlessly drifting, mystified and uncertain.
“In this Life” reverts back to the neurotic headspace, portraying the helpless feeling accompanying failing to live up to personal objectives. Williams’ eloquent guitar work adeptly complements the lyrics, evoking a feeling of numbness to the reality of failure.
While several of the tracks on Reflection have a haunting beauty, this is arguably most pronounced on the album’s title track, “Reflection”. The track tells a story of recognizing one’s own self worth by freeing themselves from the shackles of internal doubt. The interplay between the aggressive distortion and the elegant guitar and piano depict Williams’ internal struggle to reveal his genuine self to others.
“Joy,” the final song on the album, finds Williams reflecting on a self-worth that was challenged by a previous relationship, and appreciating his worthiness of the relationship’s moments of happiness. This final song works its way up from a stand-alone drum track to an ornate arrangement that is sure to tug on the audience’s heart strings.
From the very beginning of Reflection, Williams demonstrates his ability to adeptly discuss psychological topics while tastefully employing a range of musical devices to communicate raw emotion. At the age of just twenty-four, he’s surely only just begun to explore his creative arsenal.