Deriving their name from the address of a ramshackle house inhabited by several of the bandmates in their formative years, the members of Austin, TX-based indie rock Duncan Fellows — dual frontmen Colin Harman (vocals, guitar) and Cullen Trevino (vocals, guitar) along with Jack Malonis (keys backing vocals, guitar), Tim Hagen (drums) and David Stimson (bass) — traded their previous life of piling into various bedrooms for piling into a tour van in their mid-20s, centered by a shared sense of adventure. Interestingly, with the release of two EPs and a full-length album — 2013’s Twelve Months Older EP, 2015’s Marrow EP and 2017’s Both Sides of the Ceiling, which featured the attention grabbing single “Fresh Squeezed” — the band emerged into the national scene. That shouldn’t be surprising, as the band’s work explores multiple vibes, feelings, tempos and perspectives — and frequently within the same song.
Slated for a July 24, 2019 release through Warner Records’ new distribution channel Level Music, the Austin-based indie rock act’s forthcoming Eyelids Shut EP reportedly finds the the band exploring the dynamic sonic balance while concurrently toeing a similar line in their own lives. “We tend towards the deeper stuff you have to chew on longer,” Harman says. “Our tendency is to sing about the more difficult things we encounter in life, and as we’ve gotten older we’ve experienced heavy things that have added more serious layers to what we do. But at the same time our most popular song is largely about waking up and making breakfast. We definitely talk about straddling that line.”
Reportedly, the EP’s four songs thematically and sonically touch upon loss, reflection and how getting older lends a deeper perspective on both. “As you get older, your perspective on things like loss changes but you still live with everything that’s happened to you,” Trevino says. “Be it the loss of a person, or even the loss of a version of a person,” Harman adds. “Death is definitely a part of it, but change and a part of someone being lost is something we are singing about as well.” Malonis adds, “I also resonate with losing a version of yourself, how as you’re experiencing these losses you’re losing the more naive parts of yourself. A lot of it lines up with the theme of our first album: becoming an adult and growing wise to the ills and parts of the world that aren’t so pretty.”
Eyelids Shut‘s latest single “Cursive Tattoo” finds the band seamlessly jumping and from anthemic power-chord rock, twangy, Southern fried rock and New Wave-like indie rock within an expansive, trippy yet breakneck song structure held together by anthemic hooks and a swinging rhythm. The song is underpinned by a bitter and awkward confusion that can only come from an unsettling and equally confusing longtime relationship. “I got the name ‘Cursive Tattoo’ from actually looking at the tattoo of my name on my partner’s arm,” Harman says in press notes. “It was in the middle of one of those moments that feels very distanced relationally, like you can’t find the other person and they can’t find you. Those moments feel really jarring and insurmountable while you’re in them and that is what cursive tattoo is about, the feeling, and the physical spaces surrounding it. Much like getting a tattoo, this song is about the wild ride of a permanent commitment. Tim really smashed the cans on this one – guiding us rhythmically handicapped members between straight and swung. Cullen naturally sprinkling some sweet sweet piano over the chorus in a few breezy improv takes. Dave providing sincerity as he does. Myself providing one quarter of the lead chorus lick but zero quarters of the skill to perform it. Jack executed on this endeavor. A true collaboration.”