In our era of recalcitrant typecasts and incessant cultural churn, it is rare to witness anyone press
ahead into the unknown while holding fast to what’s best about their past, too. That’s what
Watchhouse have done with their self-titled debut. Emily and Andrew have discarded neither
their tenderness nor thoughtfulness; instead, they’ve enriched those essential qualities by
submitting to the risks of new sounds, structures, and inputs. They’ve embraced surprising
notions that make their steadfastness stronger.
It will be tempting to summarize this record as Watchhouse’s inevitable parenthood record, or
maybe the one where they got a little strange, or maybe the one where they change their name. It
is, instead, a record about growing up without growing old, about experiencing the world and
letting it change you, whether through the mystery of a newborn or the vagaries of improvising
or the comforts of familiar and wondrous love. Watchhouse is a perfectly rendered link between
their longtime allure as Mandolin Orange and an unwritten future as the band Watchhouse, one
that’s only as hopeful as we can imagine it might be.