Watsonís latest offering, entitled Adventures in Your Own Backyard, is in his own words, an effort on the bandís part to "make the kind of music we would want to listen to at home." The albumís title is both a nod to this sentiment, and to the fact that it was recorded almost entirely in Watsonís apartment in Montreal. Both Close to Paradise and Wooden Arms were recorded over long periods of time, in many different places-Wooden Arms is especially scattered in its geography, with a number of the songs having been informed by the bandís extensive travels in the wake of the success of Close to Paradise.
By contrast, the tone for creating Adventures in Your Own Backyard was one comfort and proximity, which opened a number of doors. With the help of local engineer Rob Heaney, the band was able to set up a recording environment in Watsonís studio that was both professional and comfortable. As Kuster explains, "Patís studio environment allowed us to be relaxed and feel like we were in an informal spaceÖour own. That really let us dig in to the writing and the arranging." One of the results of this is the extent to which the new album showcases bassist Mishka Stein as a prominent collaborative songwriter; he penned the foundations for a number of the songs, including the first single, "Into Giants."
The result is an album that is still ripe with the touchstones one has come to expect from Patrick Watson and his collaborators, but permeated with a greater sense of patience, and confidence. Adventures in Your Own Backyard is an attempt by Watson and the band to simplify their sights-to make music a bit more close to home, in every sense of the phrase.