Adventures in Your Own Backyard
Patrick Watson’s music is like a sunset: the slow, deliberate songs reveal new intensities moment to moment, one color giving way to another with grace and purpose until the evolution's complete and every burning pixel dissolves into black. Adventures is the fourth full-length record by the band Patrick Watson (his only solo outing was back in 2001), and the group wisely stays the path of bewitching and beguiling, with the occasional glimmer of whimsy. The brilliant “Lighthouse” gently opens the collection, with a timid piano creeping into a soundscape that slowly awakens with Watson’s aqueous falsetto, a gentle cascade of piano notes, shadowy percussion, and subdued strings. At three minutes in, electric guitar and spaghetti western trumpets blare and the entire mood shifts. (Fans of the Cinematic Orchestra, with which Watson has worked, will note an ah-ha moment here.) At the other end of the album, “The Things We Do” has a bluesy, sensual tone, its muscular backbone supporting crackling snares, prickly guitars, and a bleating saxophone.