Patrick Watson
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Patrick Watson


Band Alternative Pop


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Dear Watson"

Hearing Watson’s songs – living, breathing, yawning organisms that stretch and morph, coming at you from all sides in waves of shimmering keyboard, gouged-out noise, mind-warping rhythms and otherworldly Buckleyesque vocals – you lapse into a sem-synesthesiac state that feels like you’re watching what you hear projected on an imaginary screen. - NOW Toronto

"La Presse - Close to Paradise review"

Here, in my opinion, is the biggest anglo-Montreal release of 2006. The biggest since the Arcade Fire's Funeral...? - Alain Brunet, La Presse, Montreal, Sept 30th, 2006

"In Rotation"

The reason for all the raves is obvious: this massively talented ensemble … conjures such sublime, ever-mutating weirdness behind Watson’s quavering, high-register vocal melodies that Close to Paradise often sounds like it’s oscillating between parallel dimensions of reality. - Toronto Star, Oct. 21, 2006

"Exclaim! Review - Close to Paradise"

Listening to Patrick Watson’s third album is much like taking a walk through a dreamy netherworld. The Montreal native tells stories full of rich imagery that romanticise escapism and dwell in somewhat of an alternate reality. The songs themselves are beautifully written and arranged, taking classical, soul, gospel, rock and jazz influences, melting them down and skilfully blended into an arresting mélange. Watson’s vocal delivery is rather reminiscent of notable fellow romantic Jeff Buckley’s — especially during some of his more acrobatic vocal contortions. The disc never really lets up, and maintains a twilit ambience through its duration. Perhaps what is most striking about Close To Paradise is its sumptuous texture, aptly exemplified by the two best songs that appear in the middle of the album. “The Weight of the World” finds horns and strings conspiring with a veritable mini-orchestra to create a lush cabaret noir piece studded with a generous portion of hair-raising moments. This is immediately followed by the understated minor key shuffle of “The Storm,” which is haunting and infectious at the same time. These songs are emblematic of the record’s greatest strength — complex arrangements and a diverse musical library are utilised to create a surprisingly accessible package that most will find hard to forget. If he gets the right breaks, it is entirely conceivable that Watson will be next in the line of celebrated Montreal indie rock exports. -, Oct 30, 2006

"Be Positive"

A swaying, crooning gem....Downright lovely. - Said the Gramophone, Sept 2006

"Bande-a-Part Close to Paradise review"

Time will prove this record to be a classic. -

"Elle Review"

The time has come to discover a truly unique voice; one of the most original of the Montreal anglo scene. - Elle Quebec, Oct 2006


Close to Paradise (Secret City Records; fall 2006)
Just Another Ordinary Day (self-release; 2003)
Waterproof9 (self-released; 2001)



Patrick Watson is both a boy and a band, the former the latter’s namesake, but either way you cut it one of Canada’s most exciting and original up-and-coming acts. Their label debut, Close to Paradise, was just released in Canada on Secret City Records to widespread acclaim. They’re also fresh off big performances at both the Pop Montreal and Iceland Airwaves Festivals, and by many accounts were the toast of both with their big-impact live show.

On the one hand it’s impossible to ignore Patrick Watson as your classic crooning singer-songwriter—the charming young piano-player with the haunting voice and engaging all around presence. As Quebec singer Lhasa de Sela recently put it: “He’s truly one of the most creative people I’ve met my whole life. He has so much enthusiasm, generosity and freedom with his piano, his voice, his arrangements. He conjures up a whole world around himself.”

But on the other hand, there are three other incredibly strong musicians involved just beginning to enter their prime, both in terms of skill and contributing song ideas that give the band it’s diverse repertoire and deep sound. Robbie Kuster is arguably the best drummer in Montreal (and maybe the country) and between him and Mishka Stein on bass, the band has the ability to bolt from dreamy ballad to all out intricate rock assault and back again without blinking an eye. Simon Angell is among that rare breed of guitarist that can do more with one subtle and well-timed chord as others can with a whole song of throw-away notes. He can stand and slay with the best of them, but it’s when he’s patiently seated and kneeling at his arsenal of effects pedals that you’ve really got to be on your guard.

Word of their live shows is quickly spreading, with comparisons ranging from Pink Floyd and Sigur Ros to Jeff Buckley (to whom Patrick is often compared). Former Buckley collaborator Gary Lucas (who co-wrote “Grace” and “Mojo-Pin” with the late great) was so impressed by Watson at one of their late night Pop Montreal shows that he decided to join the band for their set the following night. Indeed, collaborations on-stage have become the norm for the band, with other recent guests ranging from members of Bell Orchestre, the Besnard Lakes, and more recently Islands, when Watson and co. were inviting to play the closing gala of the Iceland Airwaves festival.

Close to Paradise was produced by Patrick himself, with aid coming from both Jace Lasek at Breakglass Studios (Wolf Parade) and Jean Massicotte (Pierre Lapointe) and includes guest touches by Land of Talk's Liz Powell, Katie Moore, and Ninja Tune's Amon Tobin.

The band will touring extensively in 2007, including spots through the U.S. in support of what’s shaping up to be a big release for Close to Paradise outside Canada.