Friday, August 12, 2016

DUCKY - Don't Give Up Yet EP

After two months of silence from Ryan Hemsworth's Secret Songs collective, the indie label strikes back with perhaps its best release to date. Ever ebullient Los Angeleno, Ducky delivers a delightful four track EP, that sets a new, sparkling, standard both for her productions as well as Secret Songs'. My love for Ryan Hemsworth and Secret Songs is no secret to followers of Bump In The Hump or Enlightenment For Your Ears. Still one of my favourite tracks of all time, Henrik The Artist's "Naked," was released on Secret Songs last year. However the brilliant "Naked," may have lost a little bit of its shine as Ducky's Don't Give Up Yet is seriously scintillating.  Buoyant, bouncy and fantastically freeing, each track irrupts with unfamiliarly fresh feels.

Getting off to a blistering pace, Don't Give Up Yet begins with "Bliss," a peppy, high-spirited track with supersonic synths strides, centered around punchy percussion pops and rising bass bumps. It is the ultimate opening track, immediately catching your ear, while setting the scene for the rest of the joyous journey through sound.

The second track "Heal," sees Ducky really getting into the groove with some near nightcore driving depth and happy hardcore zest. The fluttering future vibes from the synths steal the show, placing listeners in an extremely uplifting and invigorating landscape, as though having your health restored in a Pokemon Center with Nurse Joy.

Whereas both "Bliss" and "Heal" are entirely effusive and elated tracks, there's something slightly different about the third track "Don't Look Down." While it too features the bubbly characteristics of Ducky's production quality, it has a slightly darker tone; one in which doubt and fear creep in. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something about it that doesn't feel complete, which I find rather intriguing. I believe it's a deliberate ploy by Ducky in not completing many of the musical phrases the way our ears intuit it to. That being said, Ducky does not leave us hanging, as I believe "Don't Look Down" to be the most well rounded track of the EP.

Closing out Don't Give Up Yet, Ducky once again showcases her ability to create a cohesive and complete EP, not just as a compilation of similar sounding tracks, but as an artistic arc of musical movement. The grand finale "Open Yourself Up and Let Her Pour Out" once again utilizes her signature sounds, but in a more peeled back, emotional nature, indicative of the track's title. Don't Give Up Yet provides the foundation for such a fiercely fresh and expository arc, that makes it a musical marvel, truly one of the best EPs of the year.

Although the vast majority of Secret Songs collection is available for free download, Ducky's Don't Give Up Yet is not, but we can understand why; she deserves to reap the benefits of crafting such a fine piece of artwork. Add it to your Spotify or buy it via iTunes.