Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Dutchess And The Duke

While Jesse Lortz and Kimberly Morrison have both done time in some of Seattle's most rough and tumble garage punk combos, the two found themselves receiving international acclaim in 2008 for their debut album as the Dutchess & the Duke, in which they turned their attentions to acoustic guitars and a cool but honest folk-rock-influenced sounds that recall the work of Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones. Lortz and Morrison first met in high school, where they shared an enthusiasm for beer, junk food, and punk rock, and in time both became figures on the Pacific Northwest garage punk scene.

Lortz was a member of the "deconstructionist R&B band" the Flying Dutchmen, and in 2002 he recruited Morrison to play organ with the group. When the Flying Dutchmen called it quits in 2004, Lortz formed the Fe Fi Fo Fums and started an independent label, Boom Boom Castle Records, while Morrison did time with the Intelligence, the Fallouts, and the Unnatural Helpers. Lortz and Morrison found themselves playing together again in a short-lived act called the Sultans, and were inspired to start writing material that would take their music in a new direction celebrating pop music's past. Calling themselves the Dutchess & the Duke ("the Dutchess" being a nickname Morrison picked up in the Flying Dutchmen), the duo worked on their harmonies and began recording material at Magical Basement Studios, a modest eight-track facility in Seattle run by Bryan more... Standridge of the Suspicions.

With some help in the studio from Donnie Hilsdat and Karen Mitchell, the Dutchess & the Duke released their first 7" single on Boom Boom Castle, "Reservoir Park" b/w "Mary," in 2007, and several months later the Sub Pop-distributed Hardly Art label signed the duo to a record deal. Their first full-length album, She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke, was released in June 2008 and received enthusiastic reviews; Lortz and Morrison soon took the act on the road, with additional accompaniment from friends Ruben Mendez and Oscar Michel. Highly Recommended!

The Dutchess And The Duke - Reservoir Park
The Dutchess And The Duke - Daytrotter Sessions
The Dutchess And The Duke @ MySpace

Check Comments for Bonus!


Blogger Ziggy said...

The Stills - Oceans Will Rise (2008) !!!

Bon Iver - Blood Bank [EP] (2008) !!!
Cazals - What Of Our Future (2008)
Common - Universal Mind Control (2008)
Q-Tip - The Renaissance (2008)
Justice - A Cross The Universe (2008)
Daft Punk - Alive (2008)
Sigur Ros - Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust (2008)

Kings Of The Leon - Only By The Night (2008)

Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (2008)
Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours (2008)
Midlake - Trials Of Van Occupanther
Rogue Wave - Asleep At Heavens Gate

Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (2008)
Mirah - You Think It's Like This But Really It's Like This

Misfits - Live Michigan 1983

Tv On The Radio - Dear Science (2008) + Return To Cookie Mountain
Fujiya & Miyagi - Lightbulbs (2008)
Thievery Corporation - Radio Retaliation (2008)
The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing (2008)

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Daniel Johnson said...

i already have that Mirah album, but I wanted to say that if you don't already have it, then download it!

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Dutchess & The Duke album is great, definitely in my top 5 of 2008. By the way, their new single 'Scorpio' is limited to 500 7"'s, and as i live in the UK i'm finding it tough to get a copy, any chance of an mp3 of it (and the b-side if possible?), i already got the live version from the Daytrotter sessions a few days ago. It's great you're promoting leftfield/underground music and i'm sure a lot of us regaular readers greatly appreciate it.
Have a great Christmas!

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where can I find The Dutchess And The Duke album?


2:12 AM  

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