By Ryan B. PatrickAs any self-respecting Patrick Watson fan most definitely knows by now, the Montreal chamber pop unit released their fourth studio album Adventures in Your Backyard this week. Recorded in Watson's apartment loft in Montreal, the new 12-track album -- the follow-up to 2009's Wooden Arms -- takes a "back to basics" perspective, according to the lead singer/pianist after which the group are named.
"We wanted to make an undeniable record. That was our only kind of goal. Just something really melodic. Something that gives you goosebumps as soon as you listen to it," Watson tells Exclaim!
With Adventures in Your Backyard, the band take a more minimalist angle to the music; tracks like the lead single "Into Giants" is demonstrative of this approach. But this hardly means the group have broken away from their old sound completely.
"I was listening to [some of our] old stuff. I think the vocals are so much better with this record," says Watson. "Sometimes we can be a very loud and dynamic band, other times we're soft and subtle. I think that our sound is definitely still there with this new record."
More importantly, Watson says it was essential just to make Adventures in Your Backyard a great record in its own right: "I think that there's enough music out there that you don't really have to add to the jungle unless you have something that's really important."
The band previously announced a web series of short videos based on backyard concerts supporting the album release. Set in and around Watson's home province of Quebec, the videos have a quirky, folksy charm to them, as you can see from the latest instalment posted below.
"Coming home [from touring], I realized there's a lot of amazing people just around the corner of my house that can give me as much as an adventure as I would have gotten being halfway around the world," Watson says of the video project. "It's about not taking for granted all of the amazing people right on your horizon and in your own backyard. What I like about the title is that it's a very open title -- a lot of people take it the way that they want to and that's totally fine."
In support of the record, which is out now via Secret City Records in Canada and through Domino elsewhere, Patrick Watson have lined up a series of European and North American dates. You can see the full list of stops here and check out all the scheduled North American shows below.
5/4 New York, NY - Beacon Theatre 5/6 Boston, MA - House of Blues 5/8 Washington, DC - 930 Club 5/9 Baltimore, MD - Ramshead Live 5/29 Toronto, ON - Danforth Music Hall 6/1 Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall 6/2 Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center 6/4 Denver, CO - Hi Dive 6/7 La Jolla, CA - UCSD The Loft 6/8 Los Angeles, CA - The Bootleg Theater 6/9 Felton, CA - Don Quixote╣s 6/10 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall 6/12 Portland, OR - Mission Theater 6/13 Seattle, WA - Columbia City Theater 6/14 Vancouver, BC - Vogue Theatre 6/21 Nashville, TN - Marathon Music Works 7/4 Montreal, QC - Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier