Patrick Watson is a key part of Montreal’s fertile indie scene, having played around the city since the early noughties and received Canada’s highly-regarded Polaris Music Prize. His entrancing heartfelt melodies have inspired a new crop of local singer-songwriters, so to mark the release of his fourth album Adventures in Your Own Backyard– which was, fittingly, recorded in Watson’s Montreal home– we asked him to identify five of his neighboring contemporaries that are making his city proud.
1. Mike O’Brien
I heard his first record when we had playing on loop in our tour bus and everyone [we later] introduced to it would say, “Who is this? What a voice! great song!” I heard that he is working on something right now and I guarantee that it’s going to be beautiful!
2. Half Moon Run
I first saw these guys at South by SouthWest and I hadn’t been excited like that in a while. This young trio has tons of energy, their vocal harmonies are spot-on, and the tunes are great.
3. The Barr Brothers
I really love their lesser known work like Brad Barr’s solo recording The Fall Apartment, which he did a few years ago. It’s a collection of instrumental originals and covers that he performs so beautifully. He’s an awesome musician [and it’s] one of my favourite records these days.
Yes I know, Simon [Angell] is in our group and all, but this is what I told him when I first heard their record: ” I’m not saying this because you’re my friend but, that is some great music you guys have there.” Actually, I can see now that anything that Erika Angell gets her hands on is gold. She’s got an incredible voice and her compositions are sophisticated yet über melodic.
5. Julien Sagot
We all know him as the percussionist who gives Karkwa (another great Montreal band) a sound of their own and contributes lyrics to their more ethereal and surrealistic compositions. Due to the recent Karkwa hiatus, Julien decided he’d rather continue playing music than wash dishes, so he released his solo venture Piano Mal. And we’re all glad he did. It’s quite the departure from the music he makes with his comrades from Karkwa. His music: if Serge Gainsbourg fronted the Velvet Underground during an Andy Warhol happening and, instead of New York, the scene took place in Mali.
Patrick Watson’s Adventures in Your Own Backyard is out now on Domino.