Bumbershoot: Interview with The Watson Twins

Chandra and Leigh Watson
photo by Allie Pasquier

After their performance on KEXP this afternoon, I had a chance to talk to Leigh Watson of The Watson Twins:

Jim: You mentioned that you have a new album coming out in January. You’ve been associated with Connor Oberst’s imprint Team Love. Will they put it out?

Leigh: The new album will be self-released actually. We often get associated with Team Love, which released Jenny Lewis’ album, but we’re trying to do it ourselves for right now. It’s not that we would consider anything else, but it’s going well for us right now.

J: Many people will recognize your name from “Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins” from her solo release Rabbit Fur Coat — how did your connection with her come about?

L: Actually, we live in the same neighborhood in Silver Lake, and we met Blake Sennett (of Rilo Kiley) about 8 years ago. We played some shows together and appeared on a few Rilo Kiley b-sides, so Jenny asked us to play with her on her own album.

J: Have the two of you always played together?

L: We’ve been sing together in church choirs together since we were kids. My sister (Chandra) has always played music, and I’ve tried other things over the years, but I’ve come back to music and it’s really great. I really love it!

J: Is it true that you were originally called Black Swan?

L: Yes, after the Nina Simone song. Our friends had always suggested that we go by The Watson Sisters, but we avoided the name until we got together with Jenny Lewis and were called The Watson Twins. I guess it was inevitable.

J: On today’s performance, you played “Just Like Heaven,” — which, by the way, was incredible — will it appear on the new album?

L: I brought the song to the band, and at first they were like, “you want to do a Cure song”? But we’ performed it a few times and then recorded it in the studio. I don’t know if it will be on the album just yet. We’ve just finished recording 18 songs, but we haven’t yet decided which will make it to the album.

J: Are there any other covers?

L: Live, we do a Spoon song, “I Summon You,” and Emmylou Harris’ “Blue Kentucky Girl,” which we’ll probably be playing today on the KEXP stage.

You can see Leigh and Chandra over at the Sound Transit stage today at 2:15 pm. They’re also starting a tour in September. Check their MySpace page for more information.

If you missed the performance, go back and listen on our Streaming Archive.

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