When a band goes into the studio for a "session" album, there's always a worry that the studio may figure too prominently into the compositions and overwhelm, rather than enhance, what the band does well. This isn't the case with the Duck Kee Sessions
Schooner has always been about simple, loose southern pop with hints of strangeness simmering beneath. The heat is turned up on this EP and the hints begin to boil, occasionally bubbling up to the surface to compliment the other sounds.
The prime example of this is "Duck Kee Nights," a simple studio interlude that sounds like an off-key glockenspiel/chimes lullaby being played on an airport runway. It's unexpected, hopeful, and oddly fitting right after the EP's climax “Maybe We Lose,” a twang-infused, broken-hearted bar theme that tries to rationalize loss.
Every song is wonderfully produced. "Feel Better" is a spry, delightful opener that validates any and all comparisons to The Shins. The closer, "In All Probability," is the heaviest song of the bunch and still the listener can hear all the parts from top to bottom.
Duck Kee Sessions is a joy to listen to and will certainly heighten the anticipation for Schooner's upcoming full length this spring.
The EP is available only on Cytunes starting Feb. 9 and the release party will be at The Pinhook in Durham on Feb. 19.