All entries for Saturday 30 September 2006
September 30, 2006
Writing about web page http://www.duelsmusic.com
I’ve always been searching for a good fun indie band channelling early-Bowie (well, okay, Hunky Dory-era Bowie, i.e. not Suede) into modern pop songs with youth and vigour. Over a year ago I happened across Duels who had come out with a little song called What We Did Wrong. The quirky piano melody was there, the la-la-la harmonies and thick lead guitar lines, it was pretty much perfect. Their website heralded a few more gems in the form of a radio recording of Young Believers and a few snippets of songs here and that they were in the process of recording.
With just two full songs I was hooked.
I’d just arrived in time for a single, Potential Futures, another stomper of a tune that lead me to my first online digital purchase; I was that enthralled. For the next six months though, there was no news of album recordings and a seemingly lacklustre follow-up single in Pressure On You. Time passed and earlier this year I caught wind that they were recording again, and the resulting album, The Bright Lights and What We Should’ve Learned, has turned out to be a cracker. It’s an album which I’ve rarely found, where a band actually lives up to that first promise you heard in them with so much hope. And a British one at that.
Full of these wonderful melodies and hooks, with the tracks I loved re-recorded with even more relish (that they deserve), giving songs like Pressure On You a bigger kick that just wasn’t present before. It’s hard not to mention the obvious influence of the Britpop era in songs like Animal and Brothers & Sisters but they manage to couple the more upbeat driving tracks with a more paranoid undercurrent in slow burners like The Slow Build (duh!), Young Believers and Taxi Song, showcasing a bit more depth to their sound.
The album came out at the end of July but being out in NZ it took me a while to actually realise it. They also have an EP to be soon released with the title track, Once in the Night, which I’ve included here alongside Animal. I’ve also included the first demo version of What We Did Wrong which captured me in the first place. If you dig around the website to find the ‘Little Monsters’ section then you’ll be treated to a few more free musical treats such as a rather sweet cover of the Talking Heads’ Heaven ( which funnily enough has also been covered by Discothéque favourites, Voxtrot ).
The Bright Lights And What I Should've Learned (2006)
Duels - Animal - MP3 Expired
Duels - Once in the Night - MP3 Expired
[Buy from Amazon]
Bonus: Duels - What We Did Wrong (demo) - MP3 Expired
Duels YouTube Channel