If you think 70s AM radio was a golden era in music, as you should, then I bet you'll like Matt Duncan.
Full disclosure: I just discovered him a few weeks ago while poking around on Spotify. So I can't proclaim any special insight here. There's not much of his background online, other than he's in New York (currently the bass player in Hedwig & the Angry Inch!). And I think he's originally from Kentucky. That's about what I know.
But dude, these songs!
I've had his awesomely titled 2013 album, Soft Times, on repeat since I first heard it. Why? Because the weather's turned nice. Because I've taken to cracking the windows on the Jeep. And because this is the easiest album to listen to that I've heard in a long while.
I realize "easy" isn't usually considered a musical compliment. The cool kids like their music artsy, with bold undercurrents of fartsy. I get it. When it comes to music, I occasionally (and delusionally) fancy myself one of the cool kids. Fuck the cool kids.
Sometimes you just want to hear something that makes you happy. Like right now? On this beautiful morning? I'm not looking for musical quadratics in 32/8 time. I just wanna smile and maybe clap my hands a little while I'm whipping up these pancakes.
His songs are as hooky as they come. Lots of keyboard and bubbling bass. Lots of gently wafting Chicago-ish horns and backing vocals. A touch of Steely Dan sheen. It's a 70s era sound for sure. (I swear I hear the ghost of Couldn't Get It Right in his song The Keys). Lyrically, he's in that same comfy pocket.
But the familiarity? That's what I love about it most. There's familiarity in the sunrise too, but it's still freaking awesome every single time. Sometimes simple wins. As Matt says on Summer Song: "When days are long, you need a summer song."
Also: as a reader pointed out (holy hell, I've got a reader?), both Matt Duncan albums are available on vinyl from Soul Step. Ooh I bet they sound good on vinyl.
Here's a sampler set to get you started: