Patrick WatsonAdventure In Your Own Backyard
    • FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2012

    • Posted by: Carianne Hixson

    You know that gentle feeling of falling asleep so effortlessly that in the process you almost find yourself resting between two states of being; consciousness and alertness? That precarious sensation seems the physical equivalent of Patrick Watson's music. It transcends the simplicity of hearing and listening and permeates through you, leaving you drifting into new realms of feeling. It's the Montreal band leader's combination of smoky vocals, seemingly fit for a jazz club in the 40s, and the instrumentation around him that offers nearly medicinal effects. There has just always been something beautiful happening on his records-- so much so that the band received a Polaris Music Prize for their 2009 album Wooden Arms. Now, we have Adventures In Your Own Backyard, once again combining the smoothness of Watson's vocals with similarly ambient music doused perfectly in percussion, acoustic guitar riffs as well as those from a brass guitar. It all makes for an album that is far-reaching and subtle all at once, leading to a (potentially) superior sequel to Wooden Arms.

    There's something about the enviable level of restraint and patience of this album that suggests Patrick and his pack of musicians are artists in the truest sense. Each of the components of their music seems methodically placed yet easily distributed by Watson's fervent hands. Songs like, "The Quiet Crowd," and "Words In The Fire," exemplify all of these notions while being distinctly different in sound; the extent of which showcases Watson's capabilities.

    The third track, "Step Out For Awhile," might offer the perfect summation of Watson as an artist and this album as a whole; a fusion of the band's varied influences, ranging from cabaret to jazz to folk. The remaining eleven tracks complement each other in ways that truly diverge from a lot of independent music today, bringing it to what seems like a more mature level. You won't find any dance songs here, nor will you hear catchy hooks that will stick in your head for hours. This is genuine talent crafted assertively, not abrasively, by Watson, creating what could possibly be an adventure in the backyard of your own mind.

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