Interview: Stanley Duke and the Kindred Spirits

In my last quarterly new music feature, I talked about Stanley Duke & The Kindred Spirits’ new album. Well, we’re lucky to have them on the blog for a quick Q&A. They’re a psychedelic rock/pop act from Cornwall. Below, you can stream their latest album, Isolation Tarot: as you can guess from the title, themed around tarot cards! If you want to learn more about Stanley Duke, keep on reading!

Angie Moon: How would you describe your music to a new listener?

Stanley Duke: It’s got a sprinkle of everything I’m influenced by, from psychedelic rock to glam to funk, and I hope I’ve managed to do those influences justice.

Angie: What musicians are your biggest influences?

Stanley: Cornwall has a very close, community vibe as far as music goes. Everybody knows everybody and supports each other, but it can be hard getting out to a wider audience. As far as music goes there are some excellent artists like Facepaint, Mog Jones and The Rezner to name a few. 

Angie: How did you get into tarot cards?

Stanley: My mother is a psychic life coach and counsellor so I’ve always had spiritual influences in my life. I wouldn’t say I’m particularly spiritual personally, but I appreciate what it can bring from a sort of chaos magic perspective. I properly got into tarot cards when I bought Oliver Hibert’s deck which is just the most beautiful thing, and I sort of see them as a way to unlock your unconscious rather than tapping into something outside of yourself.

Angie: Why tarot cards as a theme and can you tell me more about the theme of the EP?

Stanley: As the first Coronavirus lockdown kicked in I felt the need to throw myself into something creative so as not to go insane. Tarot cards felt like the perfect springboard for setting the scenes for songs. I randomly selected five cards and had my mum look into what they meant for me and the world in general, and then used those readings as a base to flesh the tunes out.

Angie: What was it like writing and recording Isolation Tarot?

Stanley: The writing process was quite on and off. My mental health took a few hits during this whole crazy year so sometimes songwriting just wasn’t on the agenda. When the creativity did come, it came non stop and I couldn’t put a song down. I think that tends to be the way I write in general, as soon as I’ve started something it’s like a tidal wave and I can’t think of anything else until it’s done.

Angie: How has the EP been received so far?

Stanley: Well we haven’t had a bad review yet so that’s good news! I’m really grateful for the reviews I’ve got so far, and the kind words people have used to describe their experiences with the EP. 

Angie: What songs from the EP do you most look forward to playing live?

Stanley: To be honest all of the songs have such a unique feel to them, I just can’t wait to play them all. I’m looking forward to hearing the bass line from “Temperance” in a venue soon though!

Angie: What kept you motivated this year and last year?

Stanley: Honestly the motivation was drawn from the concept. I think it would have been a lot harder to keep on track if I had an endless stream of ideas. It really helped to hone in on the readings from the tarot cards and not stray from that too much.

Angie: What are your goals for this year?

Stanley: In the next couple of months I’m moving to Bristol so I’ll be gathering up a bunch of musicians to create a big, fun live show and get to know the music scene up there! I’ll be a lot more central in the UK too so hopefully a tour will be on the cards in the near future.

Angie: What have you been listening to lately?

Stanley: All sorts really, I love funk and have recently started writing some more funk influenced music. I love KIRBY’s latest album, and Jacob Collier is doing some really interesting stuff right now. Love Lianne La Havas too, her song Weird Fishes has been on repeat for me. King Gizzard’s latest album is gorgeous as well.

Angie: Any words for your fans?

Stanley: I’d just like to say thanks to anyone who’s taken the time to listen and I hope you enjoy what you hear! Fingers crossed we’ll be gigging soon and we can get this lockdown bullshit behind us.

You can follow Stanley Duke and the Kindred Spirits on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Shoutout to Patrick and Jeffrey from Maryland for supporting the blog!

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