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Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Jun 21st, 2016

The Duke Spirit: KIN

dukeThe Duke Spirit
KIN
(self-released)

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It’s been five years since The Duke Spirit released their last album, but one listen to KIN will dispel any notion of the British band struggling to remain relevant. Their sound has mellowed a bit, but that just allows the group to explore new depth on this atmospheric record. “Blue and Yellow Light” and “Sonar” are both a bit more melodic than much of the band’s previous work, but there’s still enough familiar territory that they sound recognizably like The Duke Spirit. “Wounded Wing” is a surprisingly delicate, piano-driven song. Vocalist Liela Moss’ subdued delivery is offset by a guest appearance from the gravel-toned Mark Lanegan. Another guest appearance used to grand effect is “Side by Side,” which features Sam Windett from Archie Bronson Outfit. Steady, intense drums and driving guitar are as much the stars of this song as the bellowed Bonnie and Clyde vocals. This is the kind of energy that established the band years ago, and it’s nice to hear it again even as they push themselves out of their comfort zone. The sprawling “Here Comes the Vapour” is gorgeous and patiently building, and I hope it’s a sign of more thoughtful work to come in future releases. As a self-released album put out through Pledge Music, KIN is an album that isn’t afraid to tread the line between familiar guitar rock and more subdued, atmospheric work. I hadn’t realized how much I’d missed The Duke Spirit until I put on this album, but damn, I’m glad they’re back.

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The Duke Spirit: KIN