Song of the Day: The Dutchess & the Duke – Hands

photo by Andrew Waits

photo by Andrew Waits

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today‚Äôs featured selection, chosen by Midday Show Host Cheryl Waters, is “Hands” by The Dutchess & the Duke from their latest album Sunset/Sunrise available October 6th, on Hardly Art.

The Dutchess & the Duke – Hands (MP3)

Life changing events often make great fodder for songwriters and today’s Song of the Day “Hands” is proof. The life changing event in question for The D & D’s Jesse Lortz was the impending birth of his child which inspired a lot of the raw, soulful lyrics found on this album. Though their debut, She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke, was chock full of darkly honest subject matter, Sunset/Sunrise gives the feeling that you’re a fly on the wall of a confessional. The mood and tempo are stark, but the album overall has a fuller sound due in part to the different instrumentation (like the organ features on today’s song) and also the production that psych folk artist-turned-producer Greg Ashley (Gris Gris) brought to the mix. Lortz sought out Ashley to produce this record in his analog driven studio in Oakland. “This album was made for Greg Ashley to record.”

The Dutchess & the Duke are celebrating the release of the new album with two Seattle performances including a free, in-store performance at the Ballard Sonic Boom Records on October 7th at 6pm. You can also catch their official record release party at The Croc on October 9th with Meth Teeth and Dead Ghosts before they head out on a national tour with Greg Ashley which includes a special performance at Hardly Art’s CMJ showcase in New York on October 24th. For more info and dates, check out their MySpace page.

In the meantime, here they are performing “Mary” late last year, followed by an interview from before their set at Sasquatch this summer:

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One Comment

  1. Serai
    Posted December 2, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful song. But the explanation confuses me. I got the exact opposite impression – not that the song was about a birth, but a death. The lyrics about being gone, a ghost coming in from the cold, etc., gave me the image of someone with a terminal illness contemplating his own mortality, and the certainty that his place will be filled by another. Even now, with this new info, I listen to the song and cannot hear anything about birth, but only leaving, farewell and death.

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