Thursday, September 3, 2009

When your feet are leaving the ground...

30-year-old Patrick Watson and his eponymous band first came onto my radar in early 2007 on ABC's uuber drama Grey's Anatomy. Before your eyes start to roll let me say this- Grey's has some of the best music on television. I've lost count of the number of additions to my CD library thanks to the show over the last six seasons.

Watson's music is far from cookie-cutter soundtrack schlock, however. Upon listening to 2006's $20,000 Polaris prize winning album "Close to Paradise" for the first time, this four piece band completely immersed me in their sound scape of pure imagination. Watson, along with Robbie Kuster, Simon Angell and Mishka Stein, effectively navigate a handful of genres on the album's 13 gorgeous tracks without letting its cohesion fall apart.

"Slip Into Your Skin" is a personal favorite of mine with understated jazz lounge-esque verses and swooping orchestral choruses. Watson's vocals seem to relish in these moments, as they frequently appear throughout the album's 47 minute run. String arrangements makes their fullest appearances in the piano heavy "Drifters" and Stein c0-written "Lucious Life". Coincidentally, these are two of the four tracks to receive stunning video treatments.

I could go on and on and on about this album, and this band (and I will when I cover The Cinematic Orchestra- more on them later). I'll end by saying that as I type up this entry I'm listening to their third--and second Polaris-nominated--album, "Wooden Arms," and have yet to be disappointed. Repeated listens are a must before making a judgement, and that's no difficult task. This is a band that really pulls you in at the wee hours of the morning.

For tour dates visit their official site.

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