Patrick Watson: Height Of The Feeling
Moody electronics meet ethereal vocals and humanistic lyrics.
By Kerry Doole
Patrick Watson - Height Of The Feeling (Secret City): The internationally-lauded Montreal songsmith and bandleader releases Better in the Shade, his seventh full-length studio album, set for digitally tomorrow (April 22), preceded by this single.
The track is gently mesmerising, with a moody electronic soundscape enhanced by the ethereal vocals of Watson and guest La Force, aka Ariel Engle, of Broken Social Scene and AroarA. It also features nicely humanistic lyrics - "lean on each other so we don't fall." Sublime stuff.
In a label press release, Watson explains that the new album “is about negotiating a world where you don’t know what’s real anymore.I really spent a lot of time reading to improve my lyrics for this record. I was very inspired by Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson, The Waves by Virginia Woolf, and Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin. The lyrics are a collection of little thoughts that were pacing in my head. We worked hard on rebuilding the tones of our arrangements and we brought a bigger electronic component to the music."
The track and the full album were produced, recorded and mixed by Watson, confirming he has now reached studio auteur level.
This new recording appears after a prolific last couple of years - despite the worldwide pandemic - where Watson released multiple songs (A Mermaid in Lisbon, Que reste-t'il de nos amours, Lost with You) following-up his previous 2019 award-winning album, Wave, released in 2019. More recently, he played in London, UK at the Barbican with the BBC Orchestra and Le Poisson Rouge in New York on March 31.
He has eight shows planned for Quebec, from April 23 to July 8, and will perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on July 16.
Patrick Watson won the prestigious Polaris Music Prize in 2007 for his album Close to Paradise.
Publicity: Susan O'Grady, Take Aim Media