Duologue released their second album Never Get Lost on September 8th after the success of their first album Song & Dance (released 2013).
Claiming the album is “an immersive experience intended to be absorbed”, the London five-piece stay true to their word as the beginning track immediately draws you in with an encompassing, eerie atmosphere. The album title ‘Never Get Lost’ becomes ironic pretty quickly as Duologue transport you to an unfamiliar, futuristic world within a matter of minutes. The beginning track ‘Memix’ kicks off the album, introducing the electronics half way through and the layers of sound within this song have been constructed beautifully. Although there is a surreal sound to the album as a whole, there are individual songs which steer off slightly from the rest such as ‘All Night Shows’, which is arguably more uplifting and contains clearer vocals.
Their new sound is a leap rather than a step in a different direction to Duologue’s previous album which possibly had more ‘life’ to it. However, there is always respect for a band who try something new instead of churning out albums of the same. An obvious move towards an emphasis on digital production is apparent, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but fans who were expecting the electric guitar and dance-friendly drumbeat of the previous album may be slightly disappointed.
It is an album of texture with layers of sound that come together to make something pretty special. A sense of mystery and depth to the album is paired with an urgent beat that keeps the pace throughout and prevents the music (and the listener) from drifting off. Unfortunately the songs occasionally feel slightly forced, and rather than an album which glides from track to track effortlessly it does feel slightly fragmented as if it has been planned almost too precisely. Tim Digby-Bell’s vocals are chilling, skilful and complement the backing brilliantly. You can feel the passion there, it is just slightly too controlled and a more relaxed feel to the vocals would have perhaps benefitted the dream-like atmosphere they seem to be attempting. However I’m sure hearing the music and vocals live, and away from the controlled recording, would be amazing.
‘Parts Of Blame’ is a personal favourite of mine and finishes off the album perfectly. Perhaps the album doesn’t quite hold enough substance to stand up to the likes of ‘LIGHTS OUT ASIA’ or ‘Atoms For Peace’ just yet, however their occasional drift into a more pop style of vocals (‘Drag and Drop’) contrasting with the electronica music makes them stand out from the crowd. For the purpose of experimenting with, and establishing a signature sound, this album definitely has potential and I am sure fans will be dying to see where Duologue go next.