We last spoke with Diggs Duke in May (interview link) and are thrilled to hear that he has since been signed to Brownswood Recordings. His debut release, Offering For Anxious, is a collection of songs both old and new, though for listeners who have never heard Diggs’ music before, all tracks are bound to surprise.
It all comes down to the details – witty lyrics (Nine Winning Wives, in particular, is killer), intricate textures, cosmic harmonies, unusual grooves… every element is used sparingly, but to great effect. Take Cause I Love You and Sweat Like Sieves, for instance: though different in mood, both are incredible examples of restraint done right.
Gilles Peterson described Diggs Duke’s style as “an avant garde beatmaker’s attitude to making soul music”, and one could hardly disagree; his sound is hard to pin down. It’s experimental, twisting and turning across many layers, yet still manages to ground itself in the familiar vibes of jazz and soul, all this without letting genre definitions get in the way of the music itself. This is by no means an easy musical route to take, but what’s easy is always boring, and Offering For Anxious is neither of these things.
To borrow a line from Lion’s Feast, this album is the antithesis of safety. We can’t wait to see what Diggs Duke delivers next.