The London 4-piece return with an album brimming with new sounds amid a vibrant energy, flecked with sublimely delicate, intimate spaces and recorded by Simon Raymonde (Bella Union / Cocteau Twins).
At the core is a deep respect for the frailty of life and the nobility that can be observed in death. Sonar, a highly emotional Liela Moss vocal, delivers a poignant goodbye to a loved one, framed by a magnificent circular guitar hook around which organs, bass and drums carry prayer and eulogy. There are some maverick guest appearances throughout the record, Mark Lanegan, Raymonde himself, longterm TDS collaborator Terry Edwards (PJ Harvey/Gallon Drunk) and old friend Sam Windett from Archie Bronson Outfit is here also to duet with Liela on the wiry post-punk vibes of Side By Side.
One of the many standouts on the album is Pacific, a hyper vigilant and introspective tale of travel and self-discovery, of the realisation that often silence is a better way to communicate than with words. Adding to the tension, a force that pulls you in deep throughout the album, is a beautiful melody at the start of the song played on the saw by Mara Carlyle who also lends her effortlessly fluid voice to this and Sonar. Despite these cameos, this is about The Duke Spirit, who in ten glorious songs, have resurfaced effortlessly and quietly, with one of the most exhilarating albums of this year.