The Duke Spirit – Sky Is Mine
Indie Rock | Dream Pop
It’s frustrating when a band’s greatest strength is also their greatest weakness, as is the case for the new album from The Duke Spirit. Sky Is Mine does well to capture the zeitgeist of the best of the current indie and alternative scene, and there are strong hints throughout the record of the band paying homage to other key players. Opening track ‘Magenta’ recalls St Vincent through the heavy off-kilter riffs and Liela Moss’ gossamer vocals. The sinister airy atmosphere of ‘In Breath’ reminds me of Feist, while the album’s most uptempo offering ‘YoYo’ is the closest the band comes to replicating heroes of the hour Wolf Alice. It’s the gorgeous carefree harmonies of ‘How Could How Come’ however, reminiscent of Daughter and Lanterns on the Lake, that stands as the highlight of the record. It all flows together to make a superbly cohesive record that is greater than the sum of its parts.
What The Duke Spirit lack however is a sense of identity. Sky Is Mine reaches for the stars to emulate some of the leading lights of the genre, but in the process loses its way. Musically there’s some great content here, and at just over half an hour its enough to whet your appetite and leave you wanting more, but somehow the magic just simply isn’t there. With so many new bands out there, even when you pull off some great tracks there needs to be something more at work to make you stand out from the crowd, some unique hallmark that will let your music stand out from every other song in someone’s playlist. The simple artwork doesn’t really help matters either. The Duke Spirit are tantalizingly close to greatness, just missing a bit of a personal flair, and then they will really be onto something!