Friday, April 24, 2009

Pick of the Week #16: Patrick Watson

There were a few weeks at the beginning of the year where I really felt like I was struggling to find a quality album to recommend. Now, over the last 2/3 weeks I feel like I could be making 2 or 3 picks every week. In fact, this week I had 5 albums which I haven't picked that I suspect will end up on a lot of lists at the end of the year, but, Wooden Arms - I think - is the best of the bunch.

Remember Patrick Watson the guy who did the Chris Martin impression on 'Luscious Life'? Well, he's dead. No more piano driven, epic sounding songs, just those kind of spooky noises from Close to Paradise.... well, not entirely...

Wooden Arms relies on a kind of strange combination of strings, found sounds (I understand from a reliable source that he used a lot of 'stuff' from around his house), classical/acoustic guitar, and his voice to create the kind of cryptic, haunting, melodies in the way that only PW can. And while PW and Co. have abandoned those big Coldplay-esque songs, they've added in some really sweet male/female vocal harmonies ("Wooden Arms" and "Big Bird in a Small Cage"). If you find PW tough to get into, I suspect those songs are your best route in to the new album...

And this one is, I think, probably a little tougher to get into. I mean, it wasn't tougher for me to get into, but I think its generally less accessible. A lot of those whispering, haunting, howling noises that initially turned me off the Close to Paradise, are the backdrop for WA. What I'm saying is, I'm not going to be convincing Liz that anything off this album is a new Coldplay song. But, I think because its less accessible it ends up being more rewarding when you - airquotes - get it. This is easily one of my favourite records of the year - very narrowly behind Bruce Peninsula and Illinoize.

So, how excited am I to see Patrick Watson next weekend? All I have to say is "you think you're excited, feel these nipples!" (for those of you not familiar, or, who are unwilling to click on the link - its a Bob Costas (the sports broadcaster) line from BASEketball (a cinematic masterpiece, if you ask me)).

See mp3s here.

PS - Kudos to my buddy Mr.G - and now blog contributor - for being on the ball with the tickets...

Pick of the Week #1: Ketch Harbour Wolves
Pick of the Week #2: Rah Rah
Pick of the Week #3: Glasvegas/Animal Collective
Pick of the Week #4: Bruce Peninsula
Pick of the Week #5: The Antlers
Pick of the Week #6: The Darcys
Pick of the Week #7: Ohbijou
Pick of the Week #8:
Gentlemen Husbands
Pick of the Week #9: Chris Whitley
Pick of the Week #10: Alela Diane
Pick of the Week #11: K'naan
Pick of the Week #12: TOR/Sufjan Stevens
Pick of the Week #13: Timber Timbre
Pick of the Week #14: Justis
Pick of the Week #15: Hibiscus & Rosehips Compilation

No comments: