Grand DuchyView In iTunes
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Named for a principality overseen by a Duke or Duchess, Grand Duchy are the husband-and-wife duo of Black Francis and Violet Clark. Francis' history with the Pixies and his solo career as Frank Black are well-known, while Clark played keyboards as a child and played with several bands in high school. Shortly before meeting Francis, she put out an album of her own; after the pair married, she provided backing vocals on his 2007 album Bluefinger and played bass on 2008's SVN FNGRS EP. The pair took their collaboration further later that year, when they spent a day playing in the studio, melding her fondness for classic '80s sounds with his legacy of post-punk and garage rock sounds. The result was the song "Fort Wayne," which gained some Internet buzz when it was leaked online. Clark and Francis worked on other songs, playing all the instruments themselves. Grand Duchy made their debut with a version of "A Strange Day" on Just Like Heaven: A Tribute to the Cure in January 2009; a month later, the digital EP Lovesick arrived. The band's debut album, Petits Fours, was also released in Europe around that time, and arrived in the U.S. in spring 2009. While Black was on tour with the Pixies, Clark wrote the songs for Grand Duchy's second album Let the People Speak, a stranger and more confident set of songs featuring voice-overs by Phoenix, Arizona DJ Jonathan L that arrived in early 2012. ~ Heather Phares