The Watson Twins

Southern Manners EP

The Watson Twins are probably best known for backing Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis on her solo debut that came out this past year, but the sisters, originally from Louisville, have been making moves in Los Angeles' insular Silverlake indie rock scene for some time now. Those Southern roots are on full display throughout their new, self-released EP, but the best moments in the Twins' songbook come when they deviate from the confines of the straight-up country and folk that inform the milieu of this record. Opener "Friend and Foe" is a beautiful cowgirl shuffle, slow, mournful, and precise, showcasing the pristine voices of sisters Chandra and Leigh. "High School" is another stunner, a shoegazer-influenced dirge of reverb and vocal harmony. Several of the tracks, most notably "Southern Manners," assume the pose of by-the-numbers country ballads that sound as if they were recorded with Nashville session players. While incredibly confident and illustrative of the talent and depth that clearly makes up the Twins' background, it's apparent that they are capable of much more. Whether innovating or revisiting ghosts of Americana, Southern Manners feels like an auspicious new beginning for the Watson Twins, and hopefully a springboard for further musical variation.

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