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The Watson Twins from Los Angeles are coming to The Loft August 13th.
Ferraby Lionheart is opening
Check out this video of The Watson Twins
The Watson Twins
Talking To You, Talking To Me
Following on the critical success of Rabbit Fur Coat, their 2006 collaboration with Jenny Lewis, Southern Manners (2006 self-released EP) and Fire Songs, their 2008 Vanguard Records full-length debut, The Watson Twins return with Talking To You, Talking To Me (February 9th/Vanguard) their most groove-heavy and ambitious album to date. The 12 songs on TTY, TTM, produced by Russell Pollard and J. Soda of Everest, display a new sonic direction previously only hinted at in past efforts. Yes, the folk, country and Americana roots of Leigh and Chandra Watson remain, but the duo also explores and reveals their long-held love of R&B, Bossa Nova, indie pop and most prominently, classic soul. “We wanted your body to move with every song,” says Leigh.
Where the gorgeous Fire Songs was slower and more meditative, TTY, TTM showcases the twins’ admiration of classic soul vocalists, torch singers and chanteuses such as Etta James and Aretha Franklin. “I think elements of that existed on Fire Songs, but they were buried and just hinted at that,” says Chandra. “When you’re insecure about something, you don’t necessarily have the confidence to invoke those styles.”
Those insecurities can be laid to rest with TTY, TTM. The soulfulness of “Midnight” sounds like a heartbroken lover crying the blues at a late night bar. “Harpeth River” updates the vibe of classic Portishead. The Hammond B3 and defiant vocals of “Devil in You” could be a lost b-side to Dusty in Memphis, while “Savin’ You” and “Snow Canyons” hearken back to the pair’s more traditional Americana-based tracks.
In June 2009, having already written the lyrics for the album separately, the twins, Pollard and Soda decamped to a remote cabin in the High Sierras near Yosemite National Park with no phones, television or music. In four days, armed with only guitars, a drum kit, and computer to record the results, the foursome finished the sketches for TTY, TTM. (The album would later be recorded at Fairfax Recordings on the same mixing console as Pink Floyd’s The Wall. It features prominent contributions by members of Everest and My Morning Jacket’s Bo Koster.)
A retreat in the woods wasn’t the only switch the duo made for this album. “In the past, we tended to sing a lot together doing these intricate harmonies,” says Chandra. “On this one, the two of us sang back-up for whichever one of us was lead singer. We basically sang back-up for ourselves.” Adds Leigh: “I feel we’ve honed how to work together and I think our singing style on this album strengthened the idea of the two of us being one voice. What people expect from us is very different from what this record is.”
On their debut album, Leigh and Chandra Watson established themselves as leaders of a movement that embraced traditional American sounds while still breaking new ground. With Talking to You, Talking to Me, the next chapter of a bourgeoning career is ready to be heard.
* * * * *
Talking To You, Talking To Me
” * * * * FOUR STARS! ”
– Uncut Magazine
“… the Watsons consult vintage Southern styles for inspiration, incorporating touches of country and plenty of hot-blooded soul. The only problem with “Calling Out,” “Forever Me,” and other alluring tracks is that they end too soon-the sultry vocals, churchy organ, and stinging electric guitar of “Midnight” leave you craving more.”
“Their soulful harmonies are at the center of a sparkling pop sound that has a Memphis-meets-L.A. texture and hooks that work their charms on you instantly.”
“As sisters Chandra and Leigh’s harmonies wrap around hissing cymbals and jazzy guitar, this languorous, closing-time cabaret song builds into a long slow good-night kiss to melt all your late-winter blues.”
– Marie Claire
“The record is beautiful and dark… Talking To You, Talking To Me, is an open wound unabashedly bared.
“Talking To You, Talking To Me admires the night with a ghostly, echoed sound that bounces from sleek pop (“Modern Man”) to tense discovery (“Harpeth River”) to earnest ’60’s girl group harmonies (“Savin’ You,” “Tell Me Why”).
“A dark yet mellow record in which the sultry vocals of Chandra and Leigh Watson stand out enough without overshadowing the retro guitar and organ parts they accompany. The sisters Watson manage to transcend eras, at times sonically resembling 1960s female pop and soul, other times Pink Floyd.”
“Happily their mellowness is balanced by musical variety, from ‘Snow Canyons’ hint of Emmylou Harris country to ‘Forever Me’, which is pure Bjork-ish tourch song indie. They’re at their best doing languorous, late-night, honky-tonk blues tinted with soul; and one song, ‘Give Me A Chance’, even emulates the spooked mournfulness of Roy Orbison.”
– Q Magazine