Morning Comes is the latest full-length release from Oshawa indie alt-country favourites Cuff the Duke—although perhaps it is misleading to classify the album as either indie, or alt-country. One expects obscurity and exclusivity with such terms, and Morning Comes is highly accessible. While the LP is technically “indie”—it’s being released through local indie label Paper Bag Records—there is something irrefutably mainstream about Morning Comes.
This is not meant as any sort of burn. On the contrary; the hi-fi sounding Morning Comes simply deserves a lot of mainstream play, and will likely appeal to a broad range of listeners.
Cuff the Duke re-enlisted Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor to co-produce the album (Keelor also co-produced Cuff’s last full-length, 2009′s Way Down Here). While the Blue Rodeo influence is significant in terms of sound, structure, and instrumentation, there is nothing wrong with organs recorded properly and the satisfying crunch of bright guitars. “Time is Right” and “You Don’t Know What It’s Like” sound as polished as a Tom Petty radio single, with easy-to-remember hooks and catchy choruses.
It’s hard not to pull a “Don’t Speak” on the rest of the band when identifying special, stand-out qualities of the album. Still, it is primarily through frontman Wayne Petti’s sublime vocals that Morning Comes transcends the influence of its Blue Rodeo predecessors. On “Bound To Your Own Vices,” Petti’s voice hearkens back to the sentimental frailty of Hank Williams, and his unselfconscious conviction in relating experiences of loneliness deeply resonate throughout the album.
Morning Comes is reminiscent of a pre-1950s country music style, and a refreshing return to sincerity in Canadian country music. As a result of its seemingly incongruous juxtaposition of melancholy lyrics with rich, satisfying, 1990s Canadiana tones, Morning Comes is a great album to play on a fall drive up north with friends, and equally appropriate for a cold wintry drive home alone.
-Robin Hatch, Torontoist.com
Morning Comes is now available on CD and Limited Edition Double Vinyl. The limited edition, hand numbered double vinyl is limited to a run of 500 records, features a d-side etching, digital download card, and is housed in a hand silk-screened sleeve.
"These albums are about dealing with loss of someone and the change that brings to one's life," says the band's Wayne Petti. "The confusion and loneliness that occurs at that point in some one's life. Coming to grips with the reality of those things. By the end of this record we start to make peace with this and come to terms with it. All these songs are about that. They deal with a similar theme and emotion but still wondering in the back of our minds whether there will be a point to all of it. That's what the second record will be about. Embracing what has happened and navigating down new roads. This album is the low and the next album will be the high."
buy the album here: http://paperbagrecords.com/