This is the second EP from Manchester-based alternative pop band, Duke and the Darlings. Released on Sweet Sweet Records, it is considered to be instantly infectious and have songs written about marriage breakdowns, flirting and drug-induced fits…
Track listing: Love’s Labour Lost, Whiter Than White, Don’t Need To and Walk Away.
“Love’s Labour Lost” starts with a catchy electric guitar solo followed with a full onslaught of guitars and drums. It then settles into a repetitive mellow tune until we reach the chorus when all hell breaks loose again. The vocals are smooth and convincing. ‘We’ll never know’ what this song is about, as it is quite ambiguous enough to be about anything. “I know that you like it, I can see it in your eyes you’re quite delighted”. Some good riffs too as the songs progresses, vocals pause, and then come back into play again. A good catchy tune of a tale.
“Whiter than White” is a quirky upbeat tale of looking for answers and not quite understanding them. A paralleled tale of the two halves of marriage. She wants/he wants. The melody and music gallop along consistently. Guitar chords match the vocal tone, a nice easy listen on the ears. Lyrics are contradicting, “they say we live for the daytime but it’s a stab in the dark” and “you say you wanted to see me, but you’re a fly on the wall”. Reflecting the squabbling that goes on in any tired relationship. A tale of modern romance with cool guitar hooks. This song seems more soft metal that alternative pop.
“Don’t Need To” starts with steady beats and electric guitar chords. The electric guitar seems to tell the story here, echoing the vocals, with additional low toned vocals echoing the lead singers voice, which add to the atmosphere of the song. Repetitive lyrics, perhaps to get the meaning of the song across – “take what you want but I don’t need too”.
The electric guitar progresses the song along in “Walk Away”. Quite a few hooks and licks. Head nodding and foot stamping ensue without you even noticing. The vocals are begging the protagonists subject not to walk away, well at least not all the way. Heavy guitar chords hammer home this requirement. The hooks within the middle of the song are reminiscent of Coldplay. This song will have you singing and nodding along at the first listen, although it gets a bit heavy and like the previous song is repetitive especially towards the end of the song with a sudden halt…
Collectively this EP works and flows well. This Manchester-based band sing about happenings in our everyday lives and when you’re feeling in the mood for listening to uplifting tunes of reality I would definitely recommend this EP. ‘Champagne of the People’ is fun and fresh, with musical motifs aplenty.
Duke and the Darlings info: