THE DUTCHESS AND THE DUKE

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Musicreviews -

Sun­set/Sun­rise Hardly Art

Few song­writ­ers can wal­low quite like Jesse Lortz. The Duke wrote Sun­set/Sun­rise, the Seat­tle duo’s al­legedly “op­ti­mistic” sec­ond al­bum, with the im­mi­nent birth of his first child in mind. Yet with such track ti­tles as Let It Die, Never Had a Chance and I Don’t Feel Any­thing, Lortz’s taste for the mo­rose shows no signs of let­ting up. Whereas the har­monies of tour mates Fleet Foxes sound nat­u­rally up­lift­ing, the nicely jux­ta­posed duets of The Dutchess and the Duke are mired in weari­ness – ideal for those who find the in­dul­gent side of mis­ery oddly sat­is­fy­ing. Sun­set/ Sun­rise is a heart­felt, briskly de­liv­ered al­bum: squawk­ing gui­tars zigzag through blue coun­try dirges, reg­u­larly shift­ing pace to off­set the uni­form de­spair. Though the duo’s nar­row fo­cus is stir­ring in places, it’s not enough to keep the mi­nor-chord mo­men­tum smoul­der­ing, Any hope of respite is grad­u­ally snuffed out. mys­pace.com/the­dutches­sand the duke CIAN TRAYNOR

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