Track by Track: Lunch Duchess – ‘How It Ends’
Posted: by The Editor
Minnesota’s Lunch Duchess has been making a name for themselves in the indie rock scene, but they’ve been relatively quiet since their 2019 debut Crying for Fun dropped. Turns out, in the time since, they’ve been working on putting together their best work yet: their new EP How It Ends. It takes cues from emo, indie rock, and alt country in equal measure, landing somewhere between old Downhaul and the new Keep for Cheap LP. It’s a great EP, and a phenomenal starting point for anyone who hasn’t heard Lunch Duchess before. Vocalist Katharine Seggerman was kind enough to break down each song on the EP, which you can read below.
- How It Ends
A song about climate change, do-nothing politicians, late-stage capitalism, and how tired Neil Young must be, still looking at Mother Nature on the run all these years later… (For a literal image of Neil Young running after Mother Nature, check out the accompanying music video by artist Michael Jensen.) The band got together to arrange “How It Ends” sometime around March 8, 2020, and it came together swiftly around Sam’s compelling and folksy guitar part. Then, just a few days later, the WHO declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic and lockdown commenced in Minnesota.
- Interlude (Castles)
With this one-microphone recording, we hoped to capture the spirit of playing music by oneself, lost in space and time. In yet another reference to the 1970 record After the Gold Rush, Neil Young’s words: “don’t let it bring you down; it’s only castles burning,” serve as a bridge between the resigned global pessimism of “How It Ends” and the cautious personal optimism of the next track.
- Been A Month
I wrote this song in real time as I was falling in love. Instrumentally, the song builds up from Nicky’s minimal, tense, staccato piano chords into a relaxed, self-assured, loungey shuffle, complete with some Burt Bacharach-esque piano flourishes. The music mirrors the way anxiety and self-imposed secrecy can melt away into comfort and expansiveness once the words “I love you” are finally uttered.
- Love for the Dead
This song is dedicated to a beloved friend who was one of the first people Nicky and I met when we moved to Minneapolis. He had so much energy and love for the music scene and for the community at large, and he was also someone to whom I could tell my darkest secrets and with whom I could explore psychology. After his death, whenever something frustrating happened in my life, I found myself looking at it completely differently, knowing I wouldn’t be able to talk shit about it with him over some sushi. What’s the point of getting upset over some petty drama when you can’t share the story with someone who will join you, laugh at you, see your ugliest parts, and still love you? Maybe this song isn’t only about loss and grief; maybe it’s also about unconditional love.
As is often the case, I was struck in the head with the chorus of this song while washing dishes. At practice, I told the band I wanted to make a song that sounded like Bruno Mars. Despite initial skepticism, it did turn out to be our poppiest and funkiest song yet. Jeff (drums) and Matt (bass) work so well together throughout the record, and I love the way they hold together the spirit of this song.
- Interlude (Capes)
What happens in band practice, stays in band practice. Unless you happen to record it.
- Over Now
Dramatic piano hooks, passionate vocals, Fleetwood Mac-style backup harmonies, and abrupt time signature changes make this song my favorite on the EP. Lyrically, this song is about being in remission from depression, and about the darkness that periodically beckons. I hope others can relate to the mixed feelings of fear, longing, dread, and responsibility embedded within that.
How It Ends is out now.
Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison
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