Patrick Watson Hits the Books for New Album 'Better in the Shade'

The songwriter's latest was inspired by Virginia Woolf, Denis Johnson and Samanta Schweblin

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Mar 29, 2022

Patrick Watson has announced his seventh studio effort. New album Better in the Shade will arrive April 22 via Secret City Records.

Following 2019 outing WaveBetter in the Shade is described by Watson as a set of songs "about negotiating a world where you don't know what's real anymore," influenced by his recent reading list: "I really spent a lot of time reading to improve my lyrics for this record. I was very inspired by Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson, The Waves by Virginia Woolf and Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin. The lyrics are a collection of little thoughts that were pacing in my head."

On the record, Andrew Barr of the Barr Brothers joins Watson on drums, while its artwork (seen above) comes from Elisabeth Perrault. The bandleader adds that "a bigger electronic component" is also present on Better in the Shade, explaining, "With the addition of modular synths, we were able to find a warmer and more touching approach to the electronics, that feel as acoustic as the rest of the instruments and move like liquid."

Alongside today's news, Watson has shared single "Height of the Feeling," which concerns "using intimacy as a compass when you feel out of your skin."

"I sometimes just have trouble without affection to ground me," he explained. "I don't know if that's good or bad, it just is. I was lucky to be able to co-write this with Ariel Engle from La Force. She's so much fun to work with. We just did loads of improv takes on one mic and giggled together the whole time."

Better in the Shade's April 22 release will be digital, with CD and limited-edition coloured vinyl editions to follow later in the year. The album is now available for pre-order.

In May and June, Watson will tour Quebec, which you can find dates for below.

Patrick Watson 2022 Tour Dates:

03/31 New York City, NY - Le Poisson Rouge
05/27 Saint-Irénée, QC - Domaine Forget de Charlevoix
05/28 Joliette, QC - Centre culturel Desjardins
05/29 Saint-Casimir, QC - Théâtre des Grands Bois
06/01 Saint-Hyacinthe, QC - Centre des arts Juliette-Lassonde
06/02 Terrebonne, QC - Théâtre du Vieux-Terrebonne
06/04 Cowansville, QC - Auditorium Massey-Vanier
07/14 La Rochelle, France - Les Francofolies de La Rochelle 2022

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