Congratulations, Patrick Watson

Photo by David Greenwald

I’m a bit late on this, but Pitchfork wrote a news story about Patrick Watson winning the Polaris Prize and pretty much said “Who the fuck is this guy? ZOMG, What about the Arcade Fire?!?” Okay, dudes, but as we saw with last year’s prize, it didn’t go to the biggest band in the room – it went to Final Fantasy, a talented, unique artist (if not my particular cup of tea) who’s making challenging stuff and legitimately needs the money. Judging by the lack of attention paid to Watson outside of, uh, Grey’s Anatomy, he needs the cash too. I saw him at Joe’s Pub in New York a few months back, and the guy’s an unreal talent; while his songs run off the rails too often in terms of his Jeff Buckley-esque vocal indulgences and slides into dissonance for the sake of dissonance, he’s an absolutely breathtaking singer and his style, when focused into a song like “The Great Escape,” is the freshest take on post-OK Computer songwriter stuff I’ve heard in ages, Grey’s and all.

Patrick Watson – “The Great Escape”: mp3
Patrick Watson – “Luscious Life”: mp3

(Close to Paradise was released in 2006 on Secret City Records)


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