CD: Duke Special, Songs From the Deep Forest


You'd expect a singer-songwriter with dreadlocks and smoky eyeliner to sound fairly unusual, especially when he's foregone his own name, Peter Wilson, for a showy moniker, and calls his songs things like Wake Up Scarlett and Salvation Tambourine. Apparently not.

Songs From the Deep Forest is an unusual listening experience precisely because Duke Special's music sounds so absurdly radio-friendly. This despite his lyrics about dervish mothers, villain hearts and woven hats, his thick Belfast twang, and the main push of the music being the clomp-clomp-clomp of a vaudevillian piano. But Wilson's voice also has the same warm, nasal quiver of Rufus Wainwright, and the way his songs swell at their climax brings to mind the pop drama of Keane.


Jude Rogers

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Funk songs from Vietnam GIs
Draftees were at a loose end as the US prepared to pull out of Vietnam – and expressed their frustrations in raucous funk bands performing covers of songs such as Backstabbers and Smiling Faces Sometimes

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

15, Dec, 2011 @10:27 PM

Article image
CD: The Duke Spirit, Neptune

(You Are Here)

Caroline Sullivan

01, Feb, 2008 @12:13 AM

The Duke and the King: Long Live the Duke and the King | CD review
Never mind the pedigree, says Dave Simpson of the Duke and the King, feel the cliches

Dave Simpson

23, Sep, 2010 @10:30 PM

Duke Garwood: The Sand That Falls | CD review

This album, his third, sounds like 1930s Delta blues recorded on a modern building site, says Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson

06, Aug, 2009 @11:01 PM

Article image
CD: Neil Diamond, 12 Songs


Betty Clarke

24, Feb, 2006 @12:14 AM

Readers recommend: character songs

From The Jam to N*E*R*D, and from Warren Zevon to The Beatles.

By Dorian Lynskey

12, Jan, 2007 @11:58 PM

Article image
CD: Roots Manuva, Alternatively Deep

(Big Dada/Banana Klan)

Hattie Collins

10, Mar, 2006 @12:07 AM

The Duke and the King: Nothing Gold Can Stay

This might be the most tasteful record of the year and that's not to damn with faint praise, says Michael Hann

Michael Hann

16, Jul, 2009 @11:01 PM

Article image
CD: Joan Baez, Bowery Songs


Robin Denselow

03, Feb, 2006 @2:18 AM

Article image
Readers recommend: midnight songs
It's a time of day - or rather night - when usual rules don't apply, and anything might happen. Here are the results of our search for the best midnight songs. By Rob Fitzpatrick

Rob Fitzpatrick

18, Mar, 2010 @11:00 PM