Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Dutchess and the Duke - "Hands" and "Let It Die"

My No. 1 Seattle-area music crush is back with a new album, due out Oct. 6 on Hardly Art, a subsidiary of the Seattle indie goliath Sub Pop label. Their debut, "She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke" -- alongside The Tallest Man on Earth -- was my favorite release of last year. And this new one, Sunset / Sunrise, makes good on the promise they showed last year. Honestly, I don't think anything here quite reaches the pure joy of "Armageddon Song" (yes, joy), but it's a very worthy follow-up. They're still playing lo-fi folk ("campfire punk," as they've described it); they're still singing those almost-off-key harmonies; the songs primarily cover love, mostly lost.

The first song, "Hands," is the album opener and first single:

And the second here (third on the album) is a nice change of tempo:

Kimberly Morrison (the Dutchess) takes solo vocals on one track, "When You Leave My Arms," and I'm a little sad to say it's the one song that falls flat for me. Her voice is a great complement to Jesse Lortz's (the Duke), but doesn't quite work here ... and the whole thing explodes into this Specter-ish wash of orchestration about a minute in. It's a rare misstep on an otherwise very solid album. But that's the second-to-last track, and they make up for it, closing on another gem.

It's been on steady rotation since I managed to get my hands on a promo copy over the weekend. I will be buying the vinyl pressing when it comes out in another two weeks.

(Sorry for all of the words.)


Sycophantman said...

It seems i'll be the first here to make the observation that their sound is very back-porch drinking beer kinda music.

Whisk E. Bear said...

You say that as if it's a bad thing.

Sycophantman said...

Beer drinking on a porch? This is a very fine thing, indeed. I see no problems here.

Werdna said...

So this has not leaked yet? Boo. Anyhow, I'm excited for when it does.

Werdna said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Whisk E. Bear said...

(Drew, see gameside.)

Oh God... It's Lou. said...

Your Rehab, basically. For some reason, Rehab likes to write themselves off as part "Southern rock", but I don't really see the correlation.

Because I refuse to have country play on my back porch while I'm drinking beer, goddamnit.