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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Dutchess & The Duke


The Dutchess & The Duke are comprised of Seattle-ites Kimberly Morrison and Jesse Lortz and are yet another band discovered via Subterranean with their video for "Mary". The song appears to cover the issue of emotional abandonment by a parent, in this case, Mary, from the point of view of the scorned child. The scars caused by a mostly absent parent, pass into the narrator's later life, showing itself in his romantic insecurities. Here is a sampling of lyrics that seems to point at this interpretation:
And all the days I lost track
When you never came back
With my heart in your sack
And you put the fear in my mind
That what I would love would just leave me behind
The song plays warm and hummable and more than a little heartbreaking once you realize the lyrical implications, the final verse kicking in with the harmonious chant "But I ain't gonna say your name no more…" Its wounded message speaks as a loud "Fuck You" to someone you can never really leave behind because they "put the blood in [your] veins"



Upon first listening to their debut disc, She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke, it's impossible to deny the uncanny musical homage to an early Rolling Stones ( I say early, because there is nothing remotely "Has Anybody Seen My Baby" about their sound). From start to finish, their album draws you in with their "campfire punk" sing-along vibe. Folksy, crass, and hauntingly melodic, this group gets major love from this fangirl.

Their newest album, Sunset/Sunrise, dropped just last week and already it's earning its place as a favorite in our musical rotation. The sound is a little darker, less hand clap heavy, with vocal arrangements on "Hands" showing hints of Fleet Foxes, apt since the bands toured together throughout much of 2008. My favorite track may be the reverse title track "Sunrise/Sunset", vocals led by Kimberly Morrison which opens with disembodied moaning, and a deconstructed "Paint It Black"-esque guitar part. LOVE it.

So whatcha waiting for? Go forth and buy or download, however you do. The future of good music depends on you.

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