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PATRICK WATSON

CHARLIE CUNNINGHAM

Tuesday, April 21
Show | 8:30pm // Doors | 7:30pm
$20
21+ SHOW


PATRICK WATSON

Now approaching their first decade as a band, it really has been an interesting journey for Patrick Watson and his cohorts. Having already played to over 100,000 people at the 2009 Montreal Jazz Festival, performed in front of a full orchestra in 2011 in Amsterdam and again in Watson’s hometown of Montreal in 2013, and most recently performing two songs in Wim Wenders’s current 3D epic Every Thing Will Be Fine, what’s next? Releasing their most solid record yet, Watson and his band insist they have only just begun.

since Watson first galvanized this “temporary project” in 2006 with the release of his critically acclaimed debut, Close To Paradise. This calling card release would loudly announce his initial presence going on to sell well over 100,000 units. His latest installment in his already impressive body of work follows up on his utterly stunning 2012 release, Adventures In Your Own Backyard. Signatures like his hushed falsetto croon remains to be the vessel that transports his vast emotional depths, but Love Songs For Robots proudly shows Watson sailing out into uncharted waters once again.

From the crawling crescendo of the opening ethereal soundscape of the title track that heralds the beginning of the album, the listener is slowly lured into Watson’s world that reveals musical moments that are as equally challenging as they are comforting. Destinations are cleverly concealed as we are invited to just take in the lush scenery that includes sharp experimental and progressive left turns, grandiose gestures that shoulder up against fearless austerity – and all delivered in a crisp panoramic scope that could only come from Watson’s lens. His hard fought lyrical pearls are now guided through new found psychedelic and soul swagger influences as left of center instrumentation and arrangements covers up well beaten tracks and makes this a rewarding and truly original statement.

Without a doubt Love Songs For Robots bears Watson’s indelible stamp and manages to create a piece of work that is not only stirring, daring, and deeply personal, but also represents his creative watermark so far. It’s all too rare to see an artist wear their heart on their sleeve while never growing weary of the battle against cynicism and callousness, but Watson and band’s aim remains true.

Growing up in a small town in the periphery of London, guitar and piano were a big part of Charlie Cunningham's life. "The whole ability to write songs is probably in a lot more people than they think. A lot of people can probably do it; it's just hard knowing how to start,' he admits. "I think what slowed me down was just over-thinking every possible thing. So now I know that if something feels right to just trust that."

After a few years gigging and finding his feet in Oxford he left for Seville and ended up staying for two years. It was here he explored the different attitudes towards the guitar, and developed a fresh technique that was a catalyst for his creativity. Taking the percussive qualities of flamenco, his playing became sharp enough to craft songs laden with delicate flourishes, intricate melodic turns, and moments of stark introspection. His work continues to be both expansive and intimate.

"I guess the reason that it took so long for me to put something out was that I couldn't play the way I wanted to play" he explains. "I knew how I wanted it to be, but I just couldn't do it. I gave myself quite a tough time." But this perfectionist streak results in some truly wonderful moments of musicality. Charlie Cunningham's enormously suggestive songwriting is sonically beautiful while also packing an emotional punch. "I love all sorts of music, as long as there is an honesty to it" he says. "But it's hard, really, to let yourself be exposed like that."

Cunningham's artistic development, mapped by his three EPs Outside ThingsBreather, and Heights, took another leap forward with his debut album, Lines. His deft touch and restraint has produced a work of compositions that sound fresh and yet eerily familiar. Although his celebrated flamenco nods and vocal hooks are present, his musicianship and songwriting ability now takes centre stage. Fan favourites (Lights Off, Breather, While You Are Young) are still present but revisited as new versions and fine tuned productions, nestled within a diverse set of new songs. The lyrically confident Minimum and the vocally rhythmic Answers compliment new avenues scoped by the record's production. His writing's honesty and humility is matched with a confidence in its accomplishment.

The popularity of Charlie's music is highlighted in over 4.7million Spotify plays across his three EPs and tens of thousands of views for his captivating online sessions reflect the enthusiasm for his live performances. This has been especially true on the continent, where he had played two sold out headline tours of Germany.