The Dutchess And The Duke
Jesse Lortz and Kimberly Morrison first met as high-schoolers in the suburbs of south Seattle, sharing a deep fascination for weird DIY music. Fast-forward a decade during which Lortz became a garage-rock bold-face-name (leading the Flying Dutchmen and Fe Fi Fo Fums, among others), and Morrison a multi-instrumentalist gun for soul-stomp/surf-twang hire. Yet the only thing left over from Kimberly and Jesse's shared history on their folk-rock turn as the Dutchess & the Duke is a deep sense of mutual understanding, more akin to cool siblings than to a couple (which they are not). Their lo-fi '08 debut revels in a post-Dylan, mid-'60s darkness, where smart words, acoustic guitars and harmony vocals invoke the sounds of the Stones, Leonard Cohen and Velvet Underground & Nico, and negative experiences are transformative, leading to catchy songs that peep the light at the end of the tunnel. In this, the D & the D are less traditionalists recreating an old vibe than revivalists informing that vibe with an ultra-modern pathos (especially in the lyrics and two-part harmonies) and an enormous amount of heart, whose beat is marked only by a tambourine.