Over the past few years, mainstream artists have devoted a lot of attention to the 70s and early 80s. Ahead of this trend has been Matt Duncan with his brand of indie R&B. With elements of soul, pop, and folk, Duncan hits all the right notes in terms of sound, texture, and feeling. I’ve been fortunate enough to cover most of Duncan’s releases from Soul Step Records over the years, and now he’s back with Who Are You On Your Own/State Bird.

I’ve already mentioned how Duncan takes influence from yesteryear but there’s nothing in Side A or Side B that’s outdated or gimmicky. In fact, both tracks are the most groovy songs Duncan has ever released. The electric piano, bright synths, and yacht-rock crooning on “Who Are You On Your Own” had me wanting to plug in my Fender Jazz Bass and play along. I probably would’ve if it weren’t for the track’s already delicious emphasis on low-end. But of course, I have to bring up the scorching sax solo! Who’s out there putting such a solo on a track in 2020? Matt Duncan!

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“State Bird” changes the vibe from chill to dance and in a big way. Sounding like a cross between Prince and Beck, its impossible not to want to dance when the hook hits under the bouncy synth. With fun being the main emphasis on this particular song, “State Bird” proves Duncan is more than capable of getting you on the dance floor than just crooning you into your lover’s arms.

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Duncan has a respectable catalog of music all vinyl lovers should have. Its no surprise this is the seventh Duncan release from Soul Step Records. His artistry grows and evolves with each release just like the label itself. With only 2 songs on this 7″, Duncan and Soul Step bring together the best of what each other does. There’s a lot going on in the world right now. Uncertainty, civil unrest, tension, and disbelief so why not take a few minutes to drop a needle on a couple of tracks? The groove will do you some good! I promise!

Who Are You On Your Own/State Bird is available on limited edition 7″ vinyl at Soul Step Records now.

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Aaron The Audiophile

Son, brother, uncle, musician. I enjoy music of all genres, shapes and sizes, preferably the good kind.

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