The Dutchess and The Duke are one of those bands that I’ve come across and wondered how I haven’t found them earlier. The duo from Seattle, consisting of Jesse Lortz and Kimberley Morrison, released the amazing debut She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke last year, and have recently released the follow-up Sunset/ Sunrise on the wonderful little label Hardly Art (home to Le Loup and Golden Triangle to name some favorites).
I’m still digesting Sunset/ Sunrise, which involves slightly more ambitious arrangements and optimism, but She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke has wormed its way into my heart, with little resistance. Most reviews compare them to early Rolling Stones, but the dark tone of the lyrics and super spare set up of acoustic guitars and minimal hand percussion which provide foil for the pop melodies makes me think southern gothic- or western, if you will. It’s all in the accents.
Lortz likes to pull apart the darker inclinations, his darker inclinations- it’s no secret that much of the lyrical content is autobiographical. So you hear about how we’re lifted and ruined by love, people gone from our lives and the ones we want to run from, the keepers, the take-it-or-leavers. Though grim, it is never overbearingly so- the upbeat guitar, brevity of the songs and album length always leaves me slightly stunned at conclusion, like there are gaps to fill in.
I’ve tucked a video and a song away behind the jump, for your audio-visual pleasure.
Above is the official video for the song ‘Mary’ off She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke. It is simple, one shot of the band with some acted footage being projected on to them as they sing along- it is without a doubt one of the most literal interpretations of song lyrics I have ever seen. Love the visual of the line You put the blood in my veins… some great drawing and stop motion there. Below I’ve put one of my favorite songs off the new album Sunset/ Sunrise– a seriously wrong and fucked up love fear song. Go ahead and indulge your evil thoughts.
The Dutchess and the Duke- Let It Die