The Watson Twins

The Watson Twins Southern Manners (TWT, September 2006)


They first came through town a month or so ago in support of Matt Costa at SOhO (Costa incidentally comes back for a UCSB show on November 15) and are about to return with Jenny Lewis when she shares the Arlington stage with Death Cab for Cutie on December 6.

In between their visits to Santa Barbara, The Watson Twins have left us to ponder their debut recording Southern Manners. But not that much pondering is required, for lurking amongst the eight compositions that grace this album are some of the most enchanting musical moments one is likely to encounter this year.


Take a song like “Friend and Foe,” for instance, with its aching melody that drifts upon a subtle lather of weeping lap steel and airy acoustics. Or the beautiful lamenting harmonies that gouge every ounce of sympathy from the verses of “Hardly Undone.” And then there is “Shoot the Lights Out” where Brian Lebarton’s piano weaves a gorgeous passage through the gentle strumming of Chandra Watson’s nylon string guitar before the twins’ sublime vocals melt together into a chorus that makes you want to cry. Music doesn’t come any more beautiful or inflicting than this. Rich in organics, lush with harmonies, and strikingly executed, for me, this is undoubtedly the album of the year — and maybe one for next year too.

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