The simplicity of the video for ‘Rabbit Hole’ is very effective in making us focus on the lyrics and voice of Joseph Hunter Duncan, and he delivers a suitably impressive vocal performance. After beginning with echoing, hushed tones, the song is truly elevated as his voice rises, displaying great range; it’s clear, pure and intimate. The visual approach also serves to make the performance feel more personal and heartfelt, more like a deep, soul-bearing conversation with the listener. ‘Rabbit Hole’ is richly layered with a swirling mix of keys and guitar and clever, dynamic percussion, over which the harmonies rise and fall.
The overall effect is vulnerable and delicate, a dreamily warm and melodic introspection. This is an artist gently sharing with us his inner-self and the challenges he has faced. Joseph Hunter Duncan was diagnosed with Bi-polar 2 disorder in 2017. ‘Rabbit Hole’ features on his latest release, ‘EP III’, which dropped in the autumn of 2021. The EP reflects that diagnosis, with contrasting songs, stripped-back numbers sitting alongside songs that are sonically fuller and more assertive. The EP charts Duncan’s journey to sobriety and self-awareness. The Nashville-based singer-songwriter says of the new songs: “These songs mostly came along during late summer of 2020. I was working through massive lifestyle changes, reflecting on behaviours, relationships, and my overall perspective on the things that were and are important to me. I was getting my life in order and mending a broken relationship. I had a rough go with alcohol abuse that affected my family, my work, and just about every aspect of my life. The record is a plea to my past self not to go back to my old ways, habits, and behaviours. To remind myself that I can stay on track, with my family, my loved ones and myself. My hope for anyone who listens is that they find a little comfort knowing that you’re not alone in those hardships. We are all a little screwed up. Song-writing – and music itself – helps get through it.”
Duncan has been releasing music for the last decade under various names (The Lion In Winter, Yosef). Now creating music solo, he blends elements of folk, pop and indie-rock to create a distinctive sound that feels fresh and yet intimately familiar. Check it out.
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