January 15, 2007

DISCOVER: 'Patrick Watson' and 'Peter Adams'

Patrick Watson: upper left by Brigette HenryI can't imagine what it would be like to be the son of a legend, a musical great. To be following in your father's or mother's footsteps into the media limelight. Sean Lennon instantly comes to mind as a prime example of my failure to comprehend what it would be like. But I imagine that it's similar if you are a musician who just sounds uncannily like a singer whose voice is, or was, so spectacular and unique that it is, or was, a major part of their fame and allure as a musician. I slipped the past tense into that previous sentence because the singer I am thinking of here, and whose musical persona is resurrected by those who listen to the two living musicians in this post, is no longer with us, that being Jeff Buckley. Those who write about music always search for a starting point to help describe the music in question, and when that starting point is as iconic as Jeff Buckley, I imagine it could be as helpful, or harmful, as being the progeny of a musical legend.

Montreal's Patrick Watson and Cincinnati's Peter Adams are both relatively unknown singers who have garnered vocal comparisons to Jeff Buckley. Adams was recently written up in Magnet magazine (a favourite of mine) in their 'Top Ten Artists To Watch For In 2007' piece. That article does include references to Adams vocal similarity to Buckley, or as Cory duBrowa wrote about Adams on his 2004 album The Spiral Eyes, "…Adams' voice is a dead Peter Adamsringer for Buckley's Grace era work…". I'll have to take exception to that description, there's a similarity, but Montreal's Patrick Watson gives me shivers when I listen to some of his work, for his vocals are much closer to the dramatic flair and verve of Buckley's voice. I want to say Watson is the 'true' dead ringer here, but again duBrowa's choice of words is unfortunate, so I will say Watson's throat is more gifted and the influence that Buckley has on his music much more pronounced. The music of these two also differs in that Watson's is much looser and open to improvisation, it sweeps and soars with the whims of his voice, where Adams follows a much tighter structure, finding it's drama more often in the instruments played than in Adams vocals. If you're more inclined towards the experimental then Watson is whom you should lay your money on, if not, then Adams is your man. Both are talented songwriters and without question you should investigate the music of each to satisfy your curiosity.

Peter Adams will release a new album later this year, as an email informed me recently, and I quote (cut and paste)...
"Peter and his band the Nocturnal Collective are currently working on the anticipated follow-up to The Spiral Eyes, due for release mid 2007. Writing and recording is currently underway in Cincinnati and Nashville with acclaimed engineer/producer Chris Grainger (Wilco, Viva Voce)."

Here is a demo from the upcoming record…
the seventh seal [mp3]

Here's an mp3 from The Spiral Eyes - Buy.
i evolve [mp3]
the disappeared [mp3]
You can download a few off his myspace page. Sample m3s can be downloaded from his website.

Patrick Watson is currently touring off and on in support of his latest on Secret City Records, Close To Paradise. Check the tour dates on his myspace where you can stream a number of songs from the latest record.

From Close To Paradise - Buy
luscious life [mp3]
drifters [mp3]
giver [mp3]

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