With the release of their debut album, the band DUO has accepted to talk with us about their inspirations and creative process. So we’re going for it and also share with you our review for their eponymous record.
While London is put under Tier 3 restriction (more or less a king of lockdown), raising general anxiety in every household, I got the opportunity to ask some questions to a new duet that really know what they’re doing. Luke Pritchard, The Kooks’ frontman, and Ellie Rose Pritchard, also known for some good tracks, are coming together by heart and talent and that’s what’s new. And the duet name? DUO, obviously.
The story of DUO starts in the heart of Soho, in 2017. And here we are, in 2020, listening to their album. Together, Luke & Ellie have been really creative for their new project, filled with love. The couple, inspired by their shared passion for French music has had a lot of fun to record the vast majority of the instruments and their voices together. The strings and drums have been sent to them sometimes, done remotely, but overall, we can feel it’s their hearts that sparked the opus. The Nouvelle Vague atmosphere, we get it and we love it on ballads like Baby Blue. It, then, takes a very intimate and sensual form, because, after all, DUO is a love story, and it’s Love In The Afternoon that tells it all. DUO is a record that blossoms without blushing through its vulnerability. And to get even further, and because it’s truly original, the band has collaborated with Antonio Gardoni from Bogue Profumo to release a unisex perfume, LiTA, inspired by the record.
UNIS SON: You both share a love and passion for French music from the sixties and the seventies. How did you discover it?
Ellie: I think you had like some records
Luke: Yeah, L’histoire de Melody Nelson. I love this record and Ellie loves it too. I would just say French music in general as well, we just have a love for it so it became something we clicked on instantly.
Ellie: And both of our mums love Françoise Hardy
Luke: That’s true!
US: So, do you have any French artists that are playing right now that you enjoy?
Ellie: We love Claire Laffut, she’s Belgian actually but we actually love her. We love like Vanessa Paradis, from the nineties. But yeah we kind of discovered Claire Laffut recently and listened to her album on YouTube.
US: This year has been hard, and yet you have found a good way to explore and to create this amazing album. How has it been different from a classic recording session for you?
Luke: It felt really intimate. And in some way that was really good. I think it helps with the songwriting, I think it kind of makes us a little bit more creative. Not really creative, what I mean is more, it’s a lot of escapism, creating things. We didn’t really have a lot going on in our lives in a sense. So you have to go and watch movies and think and take characters and things like that. So I think it had quite a big impact.
Ellie: Yeah, it was funny for me because working with you makes me so nervous. Because when you’re doing a session, you’re seeing different people every day and it’s very quick sessions. And there, it was like, I don’t know, very intimate and very exposing. And because we went down this rule of keeping very broad and doing only a couple of vocals takes and going with instinct I found it quite nervy.
Luke: We recorded over quite a long time. We’ve done a couple of song in the studio a year ago, and we were staying to my granny and booked a studio nearby, we had nothing going on for three months. Ellie was pretty on the mic, she didn’t want to sing but we just had fun, be drunk and hang out in the studio. In the lockdown, Ellie was still shy but not as much. The dynamic here is that I show and she sings. But it was somehow different and we created something great, and we also have friends who would work on the album remotely. We had the strings done remotely and people sending drums tracks and such, it definitively created something. But in the heart of it, they were no producer, no other people, no engineer, just me and Ellie in a room.
Ellie: We were the one to make the decision and that was fun.
US: Listening to your album it had a cinematographic feeling to it. Do you have any particular film that you think might have inspired you in any way?
Ellie: A lot of films. We watched Charade with Audrey Hepburn and also L’Avventura which is an Italian fifties film and which’s kind of mystery film. They were inspirations.
Luke: It was a lot of sixties rom-com film that are kind of beautiful romantic films, we watched loads of them… Gainsbourg’s biopic as well. Lots of movies about or from that era. And it’s really a nice spot to be on, something decadent and playful about them…
Ellie (laughing): We watched one because we couldn’t find any English subtitles, we were making up what was happening. The visuals helped too.
US: Do you have any plans for 2021, or more like, any hopes?
Luke: Yes, we would love to do something. We haven’t had any performances at all and we would like to do something kind of special, kind of cinematographic. We want to do it properly. I’m quite positive. I’m thinking hopefully by September next year, shows will be a thing again and we will love to do DUO gigs.
Ellie: We’ve actually had a couple of online performance at the release of the album and hopefully we’re going to get a video.
US: I’m looking forward to all this. Now, here’s my last question. What would be your earliest musical memories?
Luke: I guess I’m gonna say the thing I remember the most. My dad died when I was a kid but he was a musician and he had those records, VHS and a couple of guitars. I really remember watching Buddy Holly and the Crickets on one of the VHS, one of these old black and white performance. They had the two hands on the double bass and I’ve always been fascinated by one guy doing the right hand and the other doing the left hand and I was trying to play the guitar watching it. It was just on my own really.
Ellie: I don’t know if I remember if it from a home video or from my memories but like singing You’re Gorgeous by Babybird to my dad but I was like off tunes, and I had like a little baby red electric guitar.
Luke: I think I’ve seen that photo…
US: Maybe you’ve got the future cover of your second album then?
I’d like to thank DUO again for accepting to answer my questions and for releasing this beautiful album.