Sometimes ten years of struggle can all pay off simply due
to happenstance. Take the case of the
Watson Twins, Chandra and Leigh. After nearly a decade trying to establish
themselves among the vanguard of L.A.’s alternative elite, they were tapped by
Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis to share the credits on her first solo outing, Rabbit Fur Coat in 2006. Since then, their stock has been boosted
considerably, so much so that they eventually found their way to the venerable
Vanguard label, home of last year’s major label debut, Fire Songs, and subsequently, this able sophomore set.
That said, Talking to
You, Talking to Me isn’t filled with the rustic heartland harmonies that
would otherwise befit their Kentucky origins.
Rather, the sisters make their music with a knowing sensibility, a
modernist approach that often places the emphasis on rhythms to bolster their
seamless, dreamy harmonies. In the
course of these dozen tracks, the Watsons’ vocals vary from languid to
assertive, with a tact that veers from the ethereal sounding to a sound that
becomes positively chipper by comparison.
So while songs like “Forever Me,” “Snow Canyons” and “Give Me a Chance”
tend to cast the album in a meditative haze, the pronounced stomp of “Savin’
You” and “U-N-Me” bolster the bottom line and prevent the set from otherwise
becoming a scapegoat for insomnia.
Standout Tracks: “Tell Me Why,” “Modern Man” LEE ZIMMERMAN