Spun: Patrick Watson

By Phylicia Tran

Wander back three years to a typical autumn day in Montreal. The release of Patrick Watson’s second full-length disc, Close to Paradise, had earned him and his backing band of eccentric masterminds international acclaim and the Polaris Music Prize.

Three years on, Watson’s latest release, Wooden Arms, provides an array of lush instrumentals, quirky makeshift effects and well-seasoned vocals. If you’ve already developed a crush on Watson, Wooden Arms will make you enter into a weird, “I’m deeply invested in this relationship,” kind of love.

With creativity oozing out of their pores, the group gives listeners inventive music at its finest. Unconventional percussion is accented by the sounds of a redesigned bicycle in “Beijing.” Subtle yet eerily prominent orchestration garnishes tracks such as opening number “Firewood,” which reaffirms Watson not only as a brilliant songwriter, but as a talented composer. The somewhat manic tone of “Where The Wild Things Are” could easily fit into Spike Jonze’s screen adaptation.

Not that listeners need to be reminded of his seemingly bottomless pit of experimental wonders, but with the emergence of Wooden Arms, Patrick Watson has succeeded in carving out a comfortable little niche for anyone listening. Its warm embrace and pleasing melodies are the perfect space to crawl inside and never resurface.

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