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In a FUNG Day T

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The Montreal quartet Duchess Says reaches way back into punk history, its music evoking bands from both the New York No Wave scene and the hallowed halls of Britain’s finest art-school post-punkers. The band's sound is steeped in 40 years of outsider rock, from Can and The Red Crayola to the original post-punk and new wave scenes, on to contemporary bands like Ponytail and Deerhoof. Singer Annie-Claude Deschênes reaches down deep for her tortured howls and shrieks of frustration and indignation. (Or, perhaps, elation. Her lyrics—sung in English and French—are ciphers, and her voice is often used more as instrumental effect.) Wresting surprisingly danceable, memorable rhythms out of chaos on songs like “Narcisse,” “Gainsbourg,” and “S.O.H.,” the band also trusts that chaos to take the lead on noisier tunes like “Subtraction of Obedience” and the sublime “Antepoc” (where corrosive synths belch and bleat, bass lines pound and ping like rubber balls, and even the drumkit sweats bullets). Deschênes seems to leave her body–and the stage–during live shows, giving herself over to certain demons.

Biography

Formed: 2003 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Montreal's Duchess Says formed in 2003 out of the mysterious "Church of Budgerigars." The group's members, keyboardist/guitarist Ismael Tremblay, bassist Philippe Clément, vocalist/guitarist Annie-Claude Deschênes, and percussionist Simon "Simon Says" Besre all claim to have come together out of their membership in this little-known church to further the religion's message through music. The group also self-identifies as "Moog rock," mixing synthesizers with dancy punk rhythms. The band's first album,...
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In a FUNG Day T, Duchess Says
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