The Duke and the King - "Nothing Gold Can Stay"
-due out July 4th
4.5 / 5
The opener to this debut album is nothing short of magnificent, calm, composed, and serenely honest. The duo, Simone Felice and Robert Burke, take their stage name from two of Mark Twain's rapscallions, but here is no trickery or deception; just simple, bare songs. Felice's vocals are soothing and understated: on "The Morning I Get to Hell," he demonstrates a soft-spoken passion and wonder, questioning "Where is all my fire,/ My missionary zeal?" "Lose My Self" and "Summer Morning Rain" are both winners as well, with the former's dreamy instrumental haze just as palpable as the latter's almost John-Denver pop serenity. This album is not perfect, with "Still Remember Love" coming off a bit harsh and electronic, but overall, "Nothing Gold Can Stay" is a quiet album and too easy to pass over this summer. "Gold" is worth your coppers; recommended.