Oh, those crafty Canadians! So polite, we don’t always notice when they come knocking on our door with lovely, maple-flavored musical offerings. EW has largely slept on Quebecois (Quebecian?) singer-songwriter Patrick Watson, even though he beat out American-approved countrymates Feist and Arcade Fire in 2007 to win the esteemed Polaris Music Prize for his critically acclaimed Close to Paradise.
We should be ashamed, really, because Watson’s delicate, densely constructed compositions — comparisons to Jeff Buckley and Andrew Bird are apt, if not exact — are a beguiling, bewitching treat, like absinthe-laced gumdrops: part rickety graveyard waltz, part hand-over-heart chamber pop, part avante garde piano theater (he’s toured with legendary experimentalist John Cale, no less).
But if the appearance of his Nick Drake-ian ballad “The Great Escape” on insufferable-doctor drama Grey’s Anatomy in ’07 didn’t sell you, give him a chance when new album Wooden Arms arrives May 5. Or go to his MySpace page to stream several tracks, and find upcoming U.S. tour dates (he’s got a select few Stateside next month).
In the meantime, enjoy one of his best videos from Paradise, “Drifters”:
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