The Watson Twins still give each other chills

The twin-sister duo are back on their own and playing Smiths Olde Bar tonight

The Watson Twins new record, Night Covers, was less a matter of “if” and more so one of “when.” Cover songs are nothing new to the identical Louisville-born twins, who first surfaced as Jenny Lewis’ sidekicks on the 2006 release Rabbit Fur Coat before releasing four records of their own in the years since. They’ve often sprinkled them into their live sets and even featured The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” on their 2008 release, Fire Songs. Though a record full of covers like this one is always a touch of a surprise, it’s perhaps less of one for the Louisville-born and raised duo. The timing was right in the months after finishing their major label contract at Vanguard, heaving the Twins back into the independent and DIY music world. But for being thrust back into a place so often tempestuous and uncertain, the pair seems remarkably at home, paying homage to songs that have bred and inspired them while looking forward to a future they once again hold completely in their own hands.

So here’s the obvious question: Why a record of covers? Why now?
Leigh Watson: It didn’t seem like a far stretch for us, but we didn’t know when we would do it or how we would do it. At the end of last year, we were finishing up our contract with Vanguard, so we sort of took the bull by the horns and just decided to do it on our own. We had so many covers in our set, anyway, and a lot of our fans would ask when they could hear the recording of them. And we wanted to hear the recordings, too (laughs). So it felt like something needed to be done, but it’s a guilty pleasure I guess. For people that ask why we would do a covers record, just tell them that I’m self-indulgent (laughs).

That being said, there is a common misconception about cover songs in general, where people assume it’s much easier to just sing someone else’s song rather than write your own. Why is that not necessarily true?