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- Posted on Apr 18th 2012 5:00PM by Melody Lau
Patrick Watson had one rule when recording his new record, Adventures in Your Own Backyard -- to keep things simple and easy. For both Watson and for the listener.
"We just wanted to nail 12 gorgeous tunes," Watson tells Spinner. "It's just more mature in terms of arrangements and it gives the listener more time to digest."
The new album achieves just that.
Dropping the complexity of past records like the 2007 Polaris Prize-winning Close to Paradise and 2009's Polaris short-listed Wooden Arms, Watson relied less on strange homemade instruments and more on just straight-up "touching and beautiful songs."
In addition to simplicity in arrangements, Watson also admits that the new batch of songs is also easier on his voice.
"It's definitely easier to sing," says Watson. "It's a very melodic record and a record that just flows off the tongue."
With previous albums Watson and his band -- Simon Angell on guitar,
Robbie Kuster on drums and Mishka Stein on bass -- have spent a substantial amount of time figuring out how to adapt their layered, sophisticated recordings to a live environment. This time none of that mattered.
"Close to Paradise was frustrating because a lot of stuff was done in production. So when we got to the live stage, we couldn't find a way to recreate it," Watson explains. "It was frustrating that we were so limited, so when we did [Wooden Arms] we thought of how we could think outside of the box and not just trigger electronic sounds; bring a dynamic with a human touch.
"On this album, though, we didn't think as much about the live influence, we just wanted the 12 songs that will give you goosebumps."
Also different this time around, Watson and his band took time to actually "digest an idea and not be rushed off to a new place with a new idea," by recording at Watson's own actual backyard as opposed to shuffling back and forth between different cities and studios. Watson admittedly enjoyed the break from constant movement, adding that "being home felt exotic."
Watson hopes that with less complexity comes less questions and more enjoyment for listeners.
"I want people to just walk away and be like, 'Wow, this is a great tune,'" says Watson. "I didn't want people to ever ask questions with this record and, in a way, just focus on the nice song, the nice melody and the details that are there.
"Often people misread the emotions behind the song so I think people should own the song the way they'd like to."