Duke Spirit – Kin

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The Duke Spirit

Kin - Ex Voto Records

It’s been a long wait for The Duke Spirits fourth album, It’s been five years since their last release Bruiser, and Kin has got some tough acts to follow. Their first three albums have demonstrated they are one of the most consistent bands around, and also one of the most undeservedly underrated. Maybe this is because The Duke Spirit have always been a difficult band to pin down, they resolutely march to the beat of their own drum and ignore the passing bandwagons that many of their peers jump onto. Their music encompasses a broad spectrum of influences from across the decades, yet they manage to avoid any obvious comparison to others, and being a truly unique band is an achievement in itself.  

This is a diverse album which swerves from lush multi layered soundscapes to upbeat rockers that will go down a storm when they tour later this year, Hands in particular has grabbed my attention and this is as good a song as anyone will release this year. Leila Moss‘s haunting powerful vocals are as stunning as ever and the diverse array of compositions on this album all carry the hallmark of The Duke Spirit. Normally an album like Kin is referred to as a return to form, in this case it maintains the ridiculously high standard The Duke Spirit have upheld across their four albums.

The production on this album is close to perfection, it can’t be coincidence that this album marks the return of Simon Raymonde, formerly of the Cocteau Twins, being back at the helm, the man who produced their incredible debut album, Cuts Across The Land. This is an album I would heartily recommend to anyone reading this, If I had to criticise it I would personally like a few more of the energetic uptempo songs that, for me, are the highlight of The Duke Spirit’s live performances. Having said that, this will undoubtedly be one of my favourite albums of 2016 and I would happily wait another five years for their next album if it’s as good as this, I just hope I don’t have to.