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Music Review-The Duke Spirit-Kin

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01 Blue & Yellow Light
02 Sonar
03 Wounded Wing
04 Hands
05 Here Comes The Vapour
06 Pacific
07 Anola
08 Side By Side
09 100 Horses Run
10 Follow

LIELA MOSS – Vocals, Piano, Harmonica.
LUKE FORD – Guitar, Keyboards.
TOBY BUTLER – Guitar, Bass, Keyboards.
OLLY BETTS – Drums, Keyboards.

Review-I found out about The Duke Spirit when I saw them perform on this cable music show. ( I want to say it was called Fearless Music with host Jamie Lamm) I went out the next day and bought their record Cuts Across the Land. It was in my top 10 of 2005, and I had this fascination with Liela Moss’s voice. She is just so commanding but sounds very fragile and hurt at the same time. Songs like the title track and Darling, You’re Mean just hit your soul with this passion and energy that comes out of left field. Then, you hear songs that come off a little harder edged like Win Your Love. You just know that this band is the complete package. The follow up to this album was not as powerful but it was a very fun record in its own right. You had the catchy The Step and the Walk, that had this chorus that would get lost in your head and not leave. I will go on a limb and say Bruiser is such a great underrated record. That word “ underrated” can be placed in any space in this review when referring to the band. Duke Spirit took a break and we got a different kind of record called Roman Remains from Liela Moss and Toby Butler. I bought into the hype that this record was going to be truly different, but as I listened to it, it did not sound that much different to me. It sounded like a band who had no direction, passion or energy and just tried hard to create something out of anything to say they were different.

I understand and respect the band The Duke Spirit but I feel being so underrated was the reason for the failed experiment. Thank god, we got a new cd called Kin from The Duke Spirit. Liela Moss is a superstar, there is no denying that. She could be the London answer to Debbie Harry in terms of her attitude in her singing style. This album is full of well-crafted songs and this amazing rhythm section that sound like they have something to prove. Blue and Yellow Light sounds like a song you would expect from The Joy Formidable. It has this caressing dream pop shoegaze feel. Then Sonar continues the emotion and is easily their best song since their debut album. It has this Portishead feel and this dreamscape that the instruments caress with a vocal delivery that would make Satan sing along. As we get to Hands it is clear the band wants to show people they have not forsaken the hard alternative rock that people love from them. This record has so much cleverness going on with this fuzzy guitar sound mixed up with this trip hop like vocal delivery that could signal that they want to expand on what people expect from them. By the last track of this album, I found myself wanting to go back to other tracks again and get more. To say this is the the best Duke Spirit album since the debut would be an understatement, this is on par to be better than the debut to me. Where I felt the experimentation with Roman Remains was not the best, I love that the band took some chances on this record and showed people that this band is here to stay. A daring and beautiful album from first song to last. If you are into bands like Cowboy Junkies, Bjork or That Dog, you may dig this band as well. This woman has a voice that could melt the ice caps during a freeze out…what an awesome band and comeback record.

9 out of 10

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