January 17, 2008

The Dutchess & The Duke – “Reservoir Park” b/w “Mary”

Filed under: Hype,Music — innervisions @ 10:24 pm

[Boom Boom; 2007]

You’d think that after a while, the combination of cardigan-sporting white people playing guitars and singing careful pop melodies would get tired. It’s easy to get frustrated with the mediocrity inherent in bands such as Spoon, and yearn for new music to innovate and to stop trying to be the 60s.

But boys and girls, a reason for renewed enthusiasm in pop music always manages to come around the corner, and there is little doubt that Kimberly Morrison and Jesse Lortz of The Dutchess & The Duke bring a special pop sensibility to the table. With the barrage of new music coming at the collective cognoscenti, it’s easy to get lost and bored, and throw John Coltrane back on. But on my first listen, I knew I had stumbled across a classic here, and it has such lovely, universal appeal that I’m sure you’ll be enthusiastic as well.

“Reservoir Park” wastes no time getting started, quickly replacing vinyl hiss with a lightly humming acoustic guitar, and a bluesy vocal best described as a cross between a croon and a moan. Then maracas come chugging along and handclaps and seventh chords mesh together, and Kim Morrison comes out and pulls off these unbelievable cooing harmonies against the lead vocal of Jesse Lortz, and there’s probably a tambourine back there somewhere, and the result is this lovely little lo-fi pop atmosphere. Nothing here is terribly original, but that’s hardly the point of pop music. “Reservoir Park” scratches that pop music itch, and hey, the fact that it’s in A minor is a nice touch.

The charms of the B-side, “Mary,” take a little longer to come to fruition. It’s a change of pace from the A-side, in that the minor bluesy vibe is gone, and the lyrics are critical to falling in love. “Mary” is quite simply a beautiful love song. The two guitars weave in and out of each other, as Jesse Lortz’s lovelorn, heartstring-pulling croon laments. The end of the song, with both Morrison and Lortz breaking your heart with the repetition of the forlorn, “I ain’t gonna say your name no more…” is beautiful. To be honest, I’ve never heard a better ending to a love song.

Hear assorted songs by The Dutchess and the Duke and buy their single here:

1 Comment »

  1. A really nice review, but “Mary” is so obviously about a mother. I hope you haven’t gone the last 6 months thinking its a love song.

    Comment by Anonymous — July 16, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

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