Duchess Says’ “Sciences Nouvelles” is One of the Year’s Best Releases

Up until now, Duchess Says has been more recognized for its live shows rather than for its albums.  “Sciences Nouvelles”, the latest work from the four piece band, might just change that. Being the most accessible album yet, it’s a little more melodic, a little less chaotic, all while maintaining the signature dark, poignant edge.  To put it simply, it’s been on repeat since we first pressed play and we are nowhere near the point of being sick of it.

Synths are predominant, giving it that appealing 80s feel that seems to be making a comeback nowadays. You’ll definitely find yourself belting out a few songs, namely Inertia, I Repeat Myself and the crazy delightful Travaillez, which fans will recognize from the Duchess Says//Le Prince Harry collaborative effort, “Split”. Bass infused I’m an Idea gives the album a hint of funk, with a clear Talking Heads feel to it.  And then you’ve got the incredible storm of rocking intensity that is Negative Thoughts.  Contrary to the previously mentioned, it’s all guitars, it’s aggressive, it’s no bullshit and it’s fucking fantastic.

The album showcases hints of pop, punk, new wave, rock, to name a few, so there’s something for everyone. True to form, a few instrumental tracks are carefully placed in, which, given the different musical flavours appearing on the LP,  help with the transition.  Beyond acting like the glue, the instrumentals shake up the flow of carefully constructed songs by twisting in a more experimental aspect. And that balances the whole thing out. An album should work as a whole, from beginning to end, with a coherent flow all while being musically diverse.  This is what you have here.

Though “Sciences Nouvelles”, which is out on October 14th btw, can hold itself on it’s own, we absolutely. can. not. wait. to see the band – Annie-Claude Deschênes, Simon Besre, Philippe Clément and Ismael Tremblay- perform the songs live. The band’s official release party will be at Cabaret La Tulipe, on Thursday October 20th.


About Caroline Royer

NUMTL Founder and Editor-in-chief, Caroline is an Ottawa-born Montrealer who has spent the better part of her life playing and listening to music. Otherwise, she is a diehard Sens fan, freakishly into architecture and industrial design and terrible at staying put for more than 5 minutes.