It’s not too often an album hooks me in the first 15 seconds of the opening track. New York duo Duchess Leo (Daniel Ryan and Todd Buchler) has managed to do so however. Heavy and loose, stable and whimsical, clean and a little bit hazy their debut album Golden Gray is tightly woven music with just the right amount of contrasts. The opening song “Your Sweet Love” sets us up for a mix of sounds including ambient washes, lo-fi vocals and reverb, even a taste of early 90’s grunge.
Though each track has its own focus, all the songs blend effortlessly together allowing for a subtle, balanced progression. A standout has to be “Quiet Over Bridges” which captures the open sky, fresh air quality of the album. A solid first work, Golden Gray is the perfect ethereal refreshment for these times of uncertainty. Just turn it on and breathe.
Download: “Bloom” by Duchess Leo
Whale Heart Records [CD, 2011]
1. Your Sweet Love
4. The Sky Entering Alabama
5. The Joy
7. Quiet Over Bridges
8. Golden Gray
9. Beside The Seaside
10. The Play (Featuring Grace Bellury)