Austin, Texas band Duncan Fellows, recently announce their EP Eyelids Shut will be released on July 24, via Warner Brother’s new distribution platform Level. The band has also shared their newest single “Cursive Tattoo.”
Duncan Fellows’ member Colin Harman on “Cursive Tattoo:”
“I got the name Cursive Tattoo from actually looking at the tattoo of my name on my partner’s arm. It was in the middle of one of those moments that feels very distanced relationally, like you can’t find the other person and they can’t find you. Those moments feel really jarring and insurmountable while you’re in them and that is what cursive tattoo is about, the feeling, and the physical spaces surrounding it. Much like getting a tattoo, this song is about the wild ride of a permanent commitment. Tim really smashed the cans on this one – guiding us rhythmically handicapped members between straight and swung. Cullen naturally sprinkling some sweet sweet piano over the chorus in a few breezy improv takes. Dave providing sincerity as he does. Myself providing one quarter of the lead chorus lick but zero quarters of the skill to perform it. Jack executed on this endeavor. A true collaboration.”
Named for the address of a ramshackle house inhabited by several of the bandmates in their formative years, they’ve now—with everyone firmly in their mid-20’s—traded a life of piling into various bedrooms for piling into a tour van, creating a mobile Duncan Lane of sorts by staying true to that era’s sensibilities of shared adventure. Fronted by Colin Harman (vocals/guitar) and Cullen Trevino (guitar/vocals), the lineup is rounded out by Jack Malonis (keyboards/backup vocals/guitar), Tim Hagen (drums), and David Stimson (bass), with musical input coming from all corners.
“We tend towards the deeper stuff you have to chew on longer,” Harman says. “Our tendency is to sing about the more difficult things we encounter in life, and as we’ve gotten older we’ve experienced heavy things that have added more serious layers to what we do. But at the same time our most popular song is largely about waking up and making breakfast. We definitely talk about straddling that line.”
And with the release of the new Eyelids Shut EP, the band is establishing that double-edged identity even further. The four songs here are doused in maturity, both thematically and sonically. “Loss” and “reflection” are the words the band points to when discussing what the songs are about, and how aging lends fresh perspective to such topics. “As you get older, your perspective on things like loss changes but you still live with everything that’s happened to you,” Trevino says.
“Be it the loss of a person, or even the loss of a version of a person,” Harman adds. “Death is definitely a part of it, but change and a part of someone being lost is something we are singing about as well.”
Malonis finishes the thought: “I also resonate with losing a version of yourself, how as you’re experiencing these losses you’re losing the more naive parts of yourself. A lot of it lines up with the theme of our first album: becoming an adult and growing wise to the ills and parts of the world that aren’t so pretty.”
Harman echoes, “That concept connected all the songs together; they’re about reflecting on loss, coming to terms with it, and changing perspective. When you get older, you realize it’s very chaotic being a human being, so this record is us trying to make sense of that.”