There’s a lot of love for The Delines here at AUK and the first recorded duets featuring the voices of both Amy Boone and songwriter Willy Vlautin will only intensify that feeling. As ever, Boone’s vocal is engagingly characterful, while the addition of Vlautin’s voice on ‘The Golden Gate’ allows them to use their chemistry and connection to play with the song’s structure and narrative. Mostly, they take turns to sing, like a back and forth conversation full of memories and the details of lives lived. It’s tremendously effective and is sure to become a staple of the band’s live shows. The pair are able to fly vocally thanks to some fabulous instrumental layers and performances. Sean Oldham (percussion) and Freddy Trujillo (bass) beat out a fast-paced, compelling rhythm, more dynamic and energetic than many the band’s releases, over which Cory Gray’s keys really flow throughout the song and his trumpet blasts out, soaring above all else. In the accompanying video, we get to see all the players at work, showcasing their abundant talents.
‘The Golden Gate’ is taken from The Delines’ brand new ‘The Lost Duets’ 7” single, which features two previously unreleased songs. They are songs of which the band can be proud but they had never quite fitted with previous albums, which tend to be very coherent, consistent projects capturing a particular sound or mood. These two songs naturally stood apart and so get a separate release just before a tour across Europe and the UK (see dates below). After releasing the highly-acclaimed ‘The Sea Drift’ earlier this year, it’s a welcome surprise to see new material so soon.
It’s the combination of Vlautin and Boone’s vices that is the real treat for fans. Vlautin says of the two duets: “We both love singing duets. I’ve written a few but so far they haven’t fit on any of our records. The wrong place at the wrong time sorta thing. The Golden State leans on our cowpunk roots but I brought it to the band when we had already drifted away from that sound. My Blood Bleeds The Darkest Blue has a real Lee Hazelwood meets Ennio Morricone orchestrated desert feel to it but at the time we were working on The Sea Drift, songs set along the Gulf Coast, so that one didn’t fit either. But once we had The Sea Drift done we recorded the duets as a present to ourselves. Both are songs we really love but songs left orphaned along the way and we thought we better give them a proper home.” Boone adds: “I’ve always wanted to sing duets with Willy, fighting has never been more fun!”
The B-side, ‘My Blood Bleeds the Darkest Blue’, is equally captivating and deeply atmospheric. Both songs are extended masterpieces, examples of the finest songcraft and featuring novelist Willy Vlautin’s famously well-executed narrative lyrics. As a side-note, many thanks to Willy for the book recommendation for boxing fans: ‘Fat City’ is indeed a story of fabulously drawn characters in stark situations. Enjoy.
Sunday 30th October – St David’s – CWTCH Festival
Monday 31st October – Ramsgate – Music Hall
Tuesday 1st November – Paris – Sunset/Sunside
Wednesday 2nd November – Brussels – Ab Club
Thursday 3rd November – Wageningen -Theater Junushhoff
Friday 4th November – Groningen – De Oosterpoort
Saturday 5th November – The Hague – Crossing Border Festival
Sunday 6th November – Waterford – St Patrick’s Gateway
Monday 7th November – Galway – Roisin Dubh
Tuesday 8th November – Dublin – Pepper Canister Church
Wednesday 9th – Leeds – Howard Assembly Rooms
Thursday 10th – Manchester – Deaf Institute
Friday 11th November – London – Alexandra Palace Theatre
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