Tag Archives: The Duke Detroit

The Duke, Detroit – ‘Summer’s Gone’

Whilst holding onto the faint hope of an Indian reprise, one is tempted to observe the title and muse, “ain’t it just”: this latest offering from The Duke, Detroit is a rather on point soundtrack to the current drift from light to shade.

Ahead of forthcoming single ‘Delirious’, ‘Summer’s Gone’ is a further delve into the deeper, slightly darker, more mature sound the boys have explored since relocating to London: a function more likely of the ferocious realities of that great city than the ages of the still young band; one forgets how much of the early material such as ‘Iconic’ and ‘Saturday’ was written whilst barely out of school.

Following on from ‘True Romance’ in July this is a beat-led and highly sophisticated beast: ethereal backing vocals prop up the almost spoken words of singer Troi Law; plucked and introverted guitar picks its way through the whole.

It’s certainly not all doom and gloom, however: collaborator Flooze keeps a swaying groove bumping along; keyboards are head-nodding and perfectly pop.

One does hope the exuberance of youth will not be completely lost with the new material this autumn: that marked out this band from a very early stage; a rare way with a very slick hook.

Saturday night cannot last forever, however, and this new exploration of the gritty realities of life is welcome: even the weekend has light and shade and that is before one ventures out onto the mean, midweek streets…

Yet more evidence of a band to keep a keen eye on.

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Words: Vosne Malconsorts

The Duke, Detroit – Small Town Minded

Since forming in 2013, Troi Law, Dom Underwood and Jake Lawson, collectively known as The Duke, Detroit, have not only gained a positive reputation worldwide with their music, but they have also blended into the fashion world, through their work with various fashion photographers and stylists.

Their new album, Small Town Minded, set to be released on the 28th of November, conveys the band’s overall sleek and stylish sound.

Their experience of fashion parties in Britain’s fashion capital, London, have undoubtedly been a influence within the album, as, overall, it has a mysterious and seductive style and would, therefore, naturally be the perfect accompaniment to any fashion event.

Opener ‘Iconic’ commences the album with a crisp and lively sound, something that continues throughout the album, particularly in tracks such as NuGirlz’ and ‘Saturday’.

‘Most Of The Time’ and ‘XXX’ display a more spacious sound, providing a balance between explosive and dreamy, something that is experimented with throughout the album.

Single ‘Accelerate’ stands out on its own, but maintains the album’s overall style, however it possesses a darker and more intense sound, both within its musical and vocal style.

Towards the end of the album, ‘City Breaks’ and ‘Hurts’ appear slightly out of place, with a grittier and more rock-influenced sound alongside repetitive lyrics and riffs.

These tracks seem more light-hearted and do not take themselves as seriously as what has been previously heard, however this displays another positive balance and an example of some more experimentation.

This is a very strong and confident album that succeeds in achieving an individual sound, rather than coming across as a pretentious copy of 80’s electra-pop.

Small Town Minded displays The Duke, Detroit’s addictive energy and captivating musical style that will no doubt be received extremely well in the capital, where the band are currently working and playing shows.

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Words: Orla Brady

The Duke, Detroit – ‘Summer’s Come’

A slice of seasonal fare from the hotly tipped and recently relocated Dukes; apt for their new home in London anyway, if perhaps slightly ambitious for Glasgow 2015.

In original form it’s in a similar vein to previous effort ‘Iconic’: a little more organic and guitary overall perhaps, but it’s recognisably them: for such a young band, nailing an identity so early on is impressive.

And it’s an identity here infused with an optimistic, and yes summery, vibe; sweeping strings and all.

The influences still ring fairly audibly – the sounds reminiscent of electronic stretch to a touch of Bernard Sumner-esque rapping even – but there’s enough to take it way beyond simple, retro homage.

That said, if they’d called it ‘Sumner’s Come’ it would get eight million stars out of five for comedy value alone.

Enthusiastic, but graceful, with a sense of sophistication and rather irresistible pop glee.

The alternative mix provided by Flooze is a more outre affair: don’t let that fool you though; two listens and the initially more restricted and moody groove reveals its inner behemoth.

Stripped down with far more space and stark electronica it’s a thing of beauty: always a little unfortunate saying the remix is better than the original, but both parties seem close and collaborative and frankly there’s no getting away from it; the A side may be the car radio gem, but give me this stretched out, slightly claustrophobic and breathless version all day long.

Or all night; as long as it’s hot and humid in da city.

Talented chaps and an album on the way it would appear; watch closely.

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Words: Andrew Morrison

The Duke, Detroit – ‘Iconic’

2015 has been a bit of a roll for me so far review-wise; recently C Duncan wowed with ‘Say’ and here ‘Iconic’ takes, ooh, three seconds to seduce.

Fair old buzz about these young fellows and on this evidence of it’s easy to see why.

This is good; very good.

Without being in any way backward-looking it manages to reference all the tropes da kids are into and yet somehow be irresistible and fresh.

The disco percussion, the synths, the dead pan vocal reminiscent of the Pet Shop Boys, the scratchy guitars… it’s all here; but there’s a joy, a pop perfection about the whole that vastly outweighs any weary judgement about boxes being ticked.

Perhaps it is the uplifting strings that appear half way through; no pretence just unalloyed pleasure.

Get me to a dancefloor forthwith.

A cynical A&R might be counting his future income with fiendish, avaricious glee, but I’d defy even him not to crack a genuine smile when the ever so subtle female backing vocal feathers in; these are the touches that differentiate the also rans from the contenders.

This, and previous tunes like the slightly more post punk ‘Accelerate’, may go down a storm with the hip young gunslingers on the Finnieston drag but equally make sense rolling out the car stereo or sprucing up the squashed commute on the train; covering all those bases is gold… and not easy.

In fact nothing about this deceptive record is simple: it’s highly crafted and exact.

If you’re a musical git like me you’ll recognise some of the cheerier moments from Electronic – the Marr, Sumner, Tenant axis – on the other hand, even if you were born yesterday you should love this; and congratulations on learning to read so soon.

Sophisticated, artfully precise, pretty much faultless electro/dance/indie pop.

Call it what you will; it’s sublime.

More please, boys, tout suite.

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Words: Andrew Morrison

Tracks of 2014

Atom Tree – ‘Sinner’19 Atom Tree – ‘Sinner’ [Hotgem]

The opening track of the Glasgow electronic trio’s latest EP, Clouds, introduced us to vocalist Julie Knox, who’s powerful and emotive voice slides brilliantly into Atom Tree’s deep synthpop, alerting people the trio on a much bigger scale than before, and rightfully so.

Call To Mind – ‘Breathe’19 Call To Mind – ‘Breathe’ [Olive Grove]

Beautiful and euphoric, Call To Mind’s musical masterpiece is the crowning jewel of their debut album, and with accenting piano and sultry vocals, it is everything that Coldplay think they are, but infinitely better. (Kyle McCormick)

The Duke, Detriot – ‘Accerate’19 The Duke, Detroit – ‘Accelerate’ [Deaf By Stereo]

The Duke, Detroit’s sleek and stylish single threw us, spinning and stumbling back in time to the mid-80s, but they managed to bring it back to life without sounding like poor mimics of the past.

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Owl John__Frightened_Rabbit_Side__Project-750x018 Owl John – ‘Los Angeles, Be Kind’ [Atlantic]

Drawing from Scott Hutchison’s emigration to California, the video starts with footage of Scotland, which slowly blends into the bright, optimistic lights of L.A, and probably says more of this achingly melancholy song than a simple review could. (Greg Murray)

Hudson Mohawke – ‘Chimes’16 Hudson Mohawke – ‘Chimes’ [Warp]

HuMo keeps getting bigger and bigger and with a glorious homecoming at East End Social’s Last Big Weekend and this release on Warp it seems his momentum is still building.

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Mogwai-Rave-Tapes-608x60816 Mogwai – ‘Remurdered’ [Rock Action]

2014 saw Glasgow’s post rock behemoths shift away their meatier riffage of recent years and move towards a chilling atmospheric vive, they’re still loud though and the asphyxiating ‘Remurdered’ is one of the best examples of their recent work.

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Vasa – ‘Not A Cop’13 Vasa – ‘Not A Cop’

Intricate and captivating, Vasa’s stand-alone single has an unrelenting urgency at its core, but with layers of percussion and masterful guitars cleverly bolted on, ‘Not A Cop’ shines a light on a promising future. (Kyle McCormick)

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The Twilight Sad – ‘Last January’13 The Twilight Sad – ‘Last January’ [FatCat]

Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave was heralded as a return to form for one of Scotland’s most powerful yet emotionally draining live acts and ‘Last January’ was the pick of bunch.

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Jonnie Common – ‘Shark’13 Jonnie Common – ‘Shark’ [Song, By Toad]

Burning slowly, ‘Shark’ sees Jonnie Common’s songwriting at a conversational high, built on a foundation of electronics and ingenuity, the canned laughter at the end knows how good it is. (Kyle McCormick)

PAWS – ‘Owl Talons Clenching My Heart’12 PAWS – ‘Owls Talons Clenching My Heart’ [FatCat]

A prime example of PAWS expanded song writing, the cello-laced ‘Owls Talons Clenching My Heart’ pulses solidly along on to Phillip Taylor’s stories of heartache. (Greg Murray)

King Creosote – ‘Something To Believe In’10 King Creosote – ‘Something To Believe In’ [Domino]

The pinnacle of the From Scotland with Love record (no mean feat), ‘Something To Believe In’ combines true and traditional folk with honest lyrics and a painful poignancy. (Ellen Renton)

Skinny Dipper – ‘Hospital Bed’10 Skinny Dipper – ‘Hospital Bed’ [Olive Grove]

Haunting and heart breaking, ‘Hospital Bed’ might just be one of the most beautiful vocals of the year, never mind just in Scotland. (Ellen Renton)

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TeenCanteen – ‘You’re Still Mine’9 TeenCanteen – ‘You’re Still Mine’ [S.W.A.L.K]

Sickly sweet vocals and throbbing synths add playful finger-clicking and loving harmonies to make TeenCanteen’s single a loveable release and introduction to the gifted quartet. (Kyle McCormick)

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Owl John__Frightened_Rabbit_Side__Project-750x08 Owl John – ‘Hate Music’ [Atlantic]

‘Hate Music’ is a cathartic, slide-guitar-and-overdrive pedaled song, which Scott Hutchison claims Frightened Rabbit wouldn’t get away with, about the strains and the bitter tastes left by his revered band and the industry they operated in consistently for ten years. (Greg Murray)

John Knox Sex Club – ‘Minotaur’7 John Knox Sex Club – ‘Minotaur’ [Instinctive Racoon]

Primal and raucous, John Knox Sex Club captures everything they are infamous for in this track, with measured execution descending into enjoyable chaos. (Kyle McCormick)

Tijuana Bibles-500x3726 Tijuana Bibles – ‘Crucifixion’ [Dead Beet]

Tijuana Bibles continue to prove that few bands can write snarling rock classics as well as them. ‘Crucifixion’ has a southern rock swagger that you can’t help bob your head along to, the chorus hook is sublime and the guitar solo is a piece of melodic genius. (Phil Allen)

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Tuff Love – ‘Sweet Discontent’5 Tuff Love – ‘Sweet Discontent’ [Lost Map]

This track was almost everyone’s first introduction to Tuff Love and we immediately fell for the vocal harmonies and that breakneck drumming. It’s no wonder this track garnered them a lot of attention it sounds like effortless genius in the form of a song. (Phil Allen)

Deathcats – ‘Saturday Night Golden Retriever’4 Deathcats – ‘Saturday Night Golden Retriever’ [Fuzzkill]

Sure the bassline sounds like Black Flag but what an intro. Taken from the bands only debut, and looking likely to be only, length album this cut is perhaps one of their most exciting punk throw downs, however it’s given Deathcats patented surf rock treatment with plenty of great backing vocals. (Phil Allen)

Stanley Odd – ‘Son, I Voted Yes’3 Stanley Odd – ‘Son, I Voted Yes’ [A Modern Way]

Stanley Odd’s endearing referendum anthem is made bittersweet given the eventual outcome, but its message of hope and positivity still rings true in a country forging towards a better future. (Kyle McCormick)

unknown2 APACHE DARLING – ‘More Than Me’

The comparisons to CHVRCHES must get tiresome, but one thing that APACHE DARLING does share with the band is their potential for success. ‘More Than Me’ is cool, catchy and clever, and undoubtedly one of Glasgow’s best exports of 2014. (Ellen Renton)

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Honeyblood – ‘Killer Bangs’1 Honeyblood – ‘Killer Bangs’ [FatCat]

Sweet melodies and some of the crunchiest guitars recorded are staples of ‘Killer Bangs’. It’s hard to believe a two-piece can sound this massive even if it is a studio recording. (Phil Allen)

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The Duke, Detroit – ‘Accelerate’ [Deaf by Stereo]

The Duke, Detroit’s new single ‘Accelerate’ throws us, spinning and stumbling back in time to the mid-80s, through their use of prominent synth and keyboards.

This accompanies start-stop vocals, which follow heartbeat-like drumming, until the chorus kicks in which, as the title suggests, causes the track to build and speed up.

The Duke, Detroit take the vintage sound of 80s electro pop, influenced by the likes of Gary Numan and Depeche Mode, and bring it back to life in the modern day without sounding like poor mimics of a past genre.

“Accelerate, we’ve got to escape/everything about us is dangeroussings the vocalist within the chorus alongside female backing vocals.

The band describes themselves as “electric indie disco” and this is a perfect example of their ability to combine these three genres in one, through this sleek and stylish single.

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Words: Orla Brady