© 2024 WFAE

Mailing Address:
WFAE 90.7
P.O. Box 896890
Charlotte, NC 28289-6890
Tax ID: 56-1803808
90.7 Charlotte 93.7 Southern Pines 90.3 Hickory 106.1 Laurinburg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Watson Twins: Beauty Beneath the Surface

For all the acclaim that Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis received two years ago for Rabbit Fur Coat, it was easy to overlook the fact that the words "and The Watson Twins" followed her name on the album's cover. How two striking six-foot-tall twins cooing on either side of Lewis could be overlooked is an issue worthy of consideration. But Fire Songs, The Watson Twins' first full-length on their own, is an attempt to rectify that attention imbalance.

"Waves" is enough to close the gap all by itself. It's almost too much to ask that the entire song remain at the same pitch as the first verse, where the crystalline, aqueous beauty of Chandra Watson's voice is perfectly set off by music that seems to hum just below the surface. But then the tension might become unbearable, so the arrangement becomes beholden to simple pop formalism in order to continue on.

It's a lovely enough place for the Watsons to spend the song, but the thought of where they began seems to haunt them. So they return once more, briefly but pointedly, to the quietly rippling gravity of the beginning. It's the heart and soul of "Waves" from which the rest of the song gains its power, and even though The Watson Twins can't remain there forever, it's no small feat that they got to go there twice.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Marc Hirsh lives in the Boston area, where he indulges in the magic trinity of improv comedy, competitive adult four square and music journalism. He has won trophies for one of these, but refuses to say which.