There aren’t many artists who can successfully walk the line between traditionalism and experimentalism, but Patrick Watson’s lineage gives him a leg up. He was born in Lancaster, Calif. — the birthplace of Captain Beefheart and the childhood home of Frank Zappa — and he was raised in Montreal, where life and art intersect constantly. After starting solo, Watson assembled a band to translate his songs; in 2007, they were nominated for a Best New Artist Juno Award, and both 2007’s Close to Paradise and 2009’s Wooden Arms were shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize. His latest, the buzzy and atmospheric Love Songs for Robots, is likely to find a spot on a healthy number of year-end lists this year.
YOU’LL DIG IT IF YOU DIG: Jeff Buckley produced by John Cale and Brian Eno and their circle of insanity, with Radiohead monitoring the sessions to make sure no musicians are injured. (BB)