Touring member of Tame Impala. Founding member of POND. Over five albums fronting GUM, not to mention the nine he’s made as co-leader of psych cosmonauts Pond, Watson’s restless imagination has treated us to some of the most sonically diverse explorations of the past decade. On Saturnia, however, these visions have coalesced into the richest, but also the most coherent work of Watson’s career to date. When you’ve got the ability to merge any combination of sounds and moods that pop into your head, there’s a temptation to cram everything you can into each second of tape. The lesson for Watson this time was to realise that sometimes you have to strip away a great idea for the benefit of the song. Opener “Race to the Air” provides the perfect curtain raiser. Soaring into view like a gigantic interplanetary craft, it takes in a sparkling vista of cosmic disco all robo grooves and quivering strings, while “Would It Pain You to See?”, perhaps one of the most surprising songs on the album, is a glistening slink of sensual R&B. Indeed, one of the most rewarding things about Saturnia is how the songs pivot and change unexpectedly throughout, beginning as one thing before launching off into a completely different stratosphere.
Available on 180g Clear Vinyl + download card.