The Watson Twins defend Fire Songs from misinterpreting critics
Two years after providing the haunting, gospel-tinged, and mighty crucial backing vocals on Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis' solo album, Rabbit Fur Coat, the Watson Twins — identical sisters Leigh and Chandra Watson — are back with their own full-length debut, Fire Songs. At home in Los Angeles while on a short break from touring for the album, Leigh graciously spent some time with us reviewing some recent reviews:
On Fire Songs, love comes and goes, fades mysteriously yet lingers where it shouldn't, providing ample opportunity for the comforts of the sisters' close harmony . . . the songs hold sorrow and longing, keeping self-pity in check with serene grace. (The New York Times)
Well, that's nice [laughs]. I mean, I think this particular record, there are a lot of torch songs, if you will, and a lot of them are about emotions that veer between sadness and love, I guess. When we create these songs, we try to use our harmonies as a way to convey that emotional, heartfelt idea, and it sounds like they get that, and I appreciate that.
The Watson Twins
[The Watson Twins] have a deep knowledge of the canyons of the heart: On Fire Songs, love is drifty, out of reach, and the sheets keep sliding off the bed. (Blender)
Umm, wow! You know, it's funny because I think a lot of the songs, even though they might be perceived as romantic relationships, a lot of them aren't necessarily written about that — they use relationships as a metaphor for other experiences that have happened. Most of them sound like love songs, or breakup songs, or getting over the breakup songs. But, yeah, I feel like him saying "the sheets sliding off the bed," I think we do wanna put people into an insecure spot sometimes, like, "What's going to happen next? Where's this going?" Yeah, we write pop songs, but we like to have a little bit of mystery, too.
You'd think they'd have learned something from working with Jenny Lewis on 2006's Rabbit Fur Coat, but whatever the Watson Twins' pedigree, whether you focus hard or let it lie in the background, listening to Fire Songs is like looking at Tupperware. (The Stranger)
Mmmm. Yeah, that's an interesting metaphor, I guess. Honestly, I feel like, for us, coming off of a record like Rabbit Fur Coat, it's always difficult and people have definite camps that they fall into. We're different writers than Lewis, and we come from more a background of, like, gospel songs and folk songs, which are accessible songs that the masses can understand. I feel like we play straightforward, honest music. Our music is accessible, and for some people that's a turn-off. I dunno . . . Tell them to check out the Tupperware section at Target — it's colorful and useful, and I would say 100 percent of homes in America own at least two or three pieces.
From start to finish, they create warm, sumptuous melodies with their voices playing off one another or combining together to brilliant effect. You could probably listen to them singing the phone book and it would still be utterly charming. (NewNoise.net)
Wow, that's the next record — we're gonna sing the phone book. We're goin' straight to the top! Maybe we'll just conquer the Watsons of the phone book. The Watsons of L.A. County. That's what it's gonna be called.
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