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Patrick Watson, at left, along with, in picture frame, Robbie Kuster, Simon Angell and Mishka Stein, play the Rivoli tonight.


Patrick Watson isn’t the type to sweat it, even when his music didn’t play on Grey’s Anatomy when it was supposed to.

“They’ve pushed it back. They’re going to do a changeover with the song,” Watson, 27, says. “That’s just the way it happens. I’ve never watched the show myself. I hear a lot of people like it though.”

Taking the big stuff in stride seems to be how these boys roll. Singer-songwriter Watson, whose name is also the moniker for the band, talks quite casually (and genially) about his latest album, Close To Paradise, a release that has curried favour with critics and is currently one of the best-selling albums in the country according to Nielsen Soundscan.

The disc’s keyboard-infused, dreamy, filmed feel intermixed with layered, spacey rhythms is no accident. The Montreal indie kings literally see the music before they hear it.

“Visual arts make a big impact on this group,” Watson says. “I have a cinematic idea in my head for lyrics, like on (track) Weight Of The World. Then the band collaborates with the instrumentals. Musically, it’s about the travels we did together and the different styles of music we use to tell different stories.”

One of those travels, not mentioned on the record, includes a tour with James Brown. While the hectic schedule didn’t leave much time to befriend the late Godfather of Soul, Watson says watching Brown had a profound effect on his work ethic.

“He was amazing to watch,” Watson says. “He would be onstage with two bands and if one wasn’t feeling it that night, he’d throw his shoulder to the other band and change the groove. They came and they left in suits. They had a big pride in that responsibility to do the best show of your life every night.”