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EP Review: Duets by Self Defense Family

Self Defense Family released their new EP Duets at the end of September. It’s gloriously relaxed affair. The subtle guitar work is delightful and the perfect accompaniment to, as the title would suggest, the dual vocals of Caroline Corrigan and regular frontman Patrick Kindlon.

Self Defense Family is a band as enduringly interesting as it is musically ambitious. Three years in the making, Duets is the result of a longstanding collaboration between the outfit and family member Caroline Corrigan. Corrigan has fronted the band before, but here she and regular family singer Patrick Kindlon are put together front and center and afforded time and space to work. Featuring five new songs with overlapping themes and a cohesive sound that builds on the band’s own distinctive approach, Duets integrates new elements of alt-country and indie rock. Over the course of the album, Kindlon’s and Corrigan’s voices sing against each other, overlap, double back and break apart, with the latter taking the lead on the final song.

‘The Way Out Is Back’ gets things started with an Americana feels, wavering closely to folk territory, Corrigan’s vocal lends a gentle quality to act against the rasping vocal of Kindlon. ‘Been Passed On’ is more upbeat going for a garage rock feel, the riffs are simmering with energy yet the full force of the song is felt through the vocals yet again. ‘Location Scout’ is a delightful mid-American sounding track, while ‘Incoming Call’ transports you into a Sonic Youth style lullaby. ‘Cancel Man’ takes elements from all the predecessors, resulting in an accomplished and captivating track.

Unsurprisingly the vocal work is the main attraction here and thankfully it works wonderfully. A thoroughly enjoyable EP.

AD Rating 8/10

 

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