In today’s fast-paced world time is precious. Some bands deserve your time, and this is one of them. Duologue is the antithesis of pop music’s disposable cultural impasse. Their second studio album, Never Get Lost, is an immersive experience intended to be absorbed and cherished with repeated listens, not to be heard once on laptop speakers and disregarded. Much like a great novel, this one is hard to put down and will stay with you long after its finished.
The London five-piece are a product of the modern world and its easy access to music. Bonding over a mixture of electronica and guitar-based music, they’ve fused this eclecticism into a truly inimitable sound of their own. “You could pick some songs and we’d be likened to a folk act, another few and we’d be called dubstep,” explains front man Tim Digby-Bell. How many bands can you say that about? Their cerebral experimentation may not be mainstream, but it’s fast becoming a favourite among the cognoscenti.
The journey began with two original members – Tim Digby-Bell and Toby Leeming (vocals/live programming and beats) – producing on a computer whilst at Edinburgh University. Both realised what they were creating was too big for just a couple of people to play. Seb Dilleyston was brought in to add atmospheres on violin having previously trained with world-renowned violinist Maria Eitler. Toby Lee was next on guitar, and then bassist Ross Stone completed the line-up.
Early gigs in their nascent career were explosive in more ways than one. Aside from gaining a scintillating live reputation they were also becoming known for having things blow up onstage. A show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush saw the lights shatter above their heads as soon as the set began, and at The Barfly in Camden Town there was an electrical fire halfway through their performance. Whether or not the crowd thought these mishaps were all part of a unique live show will remain a mystery but one thing is for certain, their status on the road grew exponentially and support slots for everyone from Matthew Dear to Metronomy have followed.
What makes the band so compelling is that they are just that, a band. Refusing to rely too heavily on programmed elements, each layer comes to life in the live arena. “We wanted to have moments where we can strip it down to the bare essentials, really intimate moments, and then to build up to these epic electronic parts too. It needs to feel like a real journey,” says Tim.
Their second studio album ‘Never Get Lost’ is the culmination of a year’s preparation honing and self editing their eclectic sound, a sound which fed deeply from their time spent between London and New York. Whilst their first studio album Song & Dance was co-produced with Jim Abiss (Arctic Monkeys, Adele), driving members Leeming and Digby Bell found themselves naturally back in the production seat for ‘Never Get Lost’, producing all 10 tracks and mixing all but 4 which they co-mixed with Ian Dowling. The resulting 45 minute musical journey showcases a band that have found their groove, producing a matured and stylistically rich record in their innate style of fusing ghostly heart breaking melodies over rumbling electronic beats. Tim’s powerful voice ties all the diversity together, a rich falsetto, he floats effortlessly amid an ever changing backdrop of beats, synths, and strings, molding his own melodies on a patchwork sound-mosaic already replete with creativity. ‘
Released on 8th September 2014, this record is the culmination of a multi-border journey yet it’s just the beginning of one too, for an intelligent group of musicians intent on longevity. Such experimentation, bold self-belief, skillful songwriting, and unique fusing of musical genres are incredibly rare.
Tim Digby-Bell (Vocals), Toby Leeming (Live programming & beats), Seb Dilleyston (Violin), Toby Lee (guitars), Ross Stone (Bass).