Based on the lyrics of ‘Lessons’, it’s been lumming down in Daniel Duke‘s heart. The bruised troubadour has been hurt and hung up, but this gutsy folk epic is his pledge of post break-up defiance; the moment when love’s thick mist lifts, everything becomes clear and a weather-beaten six string provides infinite solace.
During its chugging verses, Banbridge-born Duke mines the old relationship’s sorrows with valour, like a man who’s mulled over every crack and pitfall during nights spent staring blankly at the dark. Hoarse, soulful and soaring, his distinctive voice veers between Ray LaMontagne at his earthy and world-weary finest and David Gray at his most bittersweet and emotive. The top of his range especially wows; during the track’s big climax, Duke hits his vocal highpoint with brio and bare-bones emotion to shiver-inducing effect.
Undoubtedly one of the highlights of dazzling debut album ‘Brother’ – an LP that was the fruit of a triumphant Kickstarter campaign earlier this year – it serves as a spellbinding introduction to Duke‘s world.