“Jangly indie-pop at its finest. An essential new artist” NME
“Ducks Ltd. understand that dancing through misery is healthier than dancing around it. Their brand of lilting, throwback jangle-pop makes that seem like the easiest thing in the world to do” Pitchfork
“Get Bleak offers a promising glimpse of great things to come; let’s hope for a quick follow-up” Exclaim
“A perfect combination of contemporary modern indie rock à la
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and classic jangle pop bands like Belle & Sebastian or
The Sundays, the four songs on Get Bleak is pure indie-pop bliss” Paste
Toronto’s Ducks Ltd. (fka Ducks Unlimited) announce their signing to Carpark Records, with an expanded re-issue of their debut EP, Get Bleak on May 21, and new single ‘As Big As All Outside‘. Listen/watch HERE.
Composed of friends Evan Lewis (lead guitar), and Tom Mcgreevy, on (vocals/rhythm guitar), the band built a reputation in their hometown for their bright, sinewy, guitar sound while sharing bills with artists like Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Weyes Blood, The Goon Sax, and Juan Wauters. The band initially released their debut EP under the name Ducks Unlimited, earning accolades from Pitchfork who praised the band’s “lilting, throwback jangle pop,” and acclaim from outlets like NPR, Paste, NME, Apple Music 1, and more.
The opening track, ‘Get Bleak‘ sets a thematic tone for the EP, one of cultural self-awareness and satiric critiques of society’s pressures and the often ridiculous demands – and prices we pay – to exist. Chiming with breezy indie guitar sounds akin to those of Flying Nun and Sarah Records acts, the track, that features a contribution from Laura Hermiston of Twist, pokes fun at the idea that moving from city to city will fix the problems in your life. Following suit is ‘Gleaming Spires‘, a track that zeroes in on the cities we live in and the push-pull relationships that we so often share with them. ‘Anhedonia‘, via it’s tightly-wound rhythm and nostalgia-inked guitars, shifts focus to the times when one is unable to wring any joy out of the things that they find important in life.
Whereas the original tracks on the EP demonstrate the debut stylings of Ducks Ltd., the three bonus tracks on the expanded version serve as indications of new music to come later. Bringing the band’s characteristic restless bounce, thoughtful lyricism and penchant for orchestration, the tracks explore topics like troubled friendships and self-destructive desires while maintaining the balance of earnest self-reflection and humour.
‘As Big As All Outside‘ delves into living with decline and is about dread, and the catharsis of escaping that feeling. “Over the last several years I don’t think I was alone in the sense of decline that seemed to be hanging over a lot of day to day existence, and on my bad days I can really let that feeling permeate everything. I’m consistently awed by all of the little things that can pull me out of it though,” the band share. “Things as simple as the extended ‘Canadian Club’ mix of the 1991 Sisters of Mercy single ‘Vision Thing’ which gets a mention in the third verse. The original version of ‘Vision Thing’ is good, but for the extended mix they just add on 2 and a half minutes at the end of Andrew Eldritch doing spooky laughs and vamping and it totally fucking rules. Never fails to remind me that in spite of everything the world is capable of being very good and fun sometimes.”
The songs on Get Bleak are full of the unbridled brilliance of pop, but the tracks are split open with the restlessness and critique of living during a more or less chaotic epoch. Now with its reissue, including three additional bonus tracks, listeners can revisit the tracks from their EP and ge an exciting glimpse of what’s to come from the band. Ducks Ltd. are brimming with potential, bringing the same warmth to listeners as when unearthing an old fantasy; wistful and existential, but full of new gusts of inspiration and radiance.
Get BleakEP re-issue is out May 21 via Carpark Records.
Pre-order it here.