Ducks Ltd. Get Bleak
Toronto’s Ducks Ltd. will release an expanded re-issue of their debut EP, Get Bleak on May 21, 2021 via Carpark Records. Composed of friends Evan Lewis, on lead guitar, and Tom Mcgreevy, on vocals and rhythm guitar, the band built a reputation in their hometown for their bright, sinewy, guitar sound while sharing bills with artists like Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Weyes Blood, The Goon Sax and Juan Wauters. The band initially released their debut EP under the name Ducks Unlimited, earning accolades from Pitchfork who praised the band’s “lilting, throwback jangle pop,” and acclaim from outlets like NPR, Paste, NME, Apple Music 1, and more. After signing to Carpark, the updated version of Get Bleak will be released with three additional bonus tracks, “Oblivion,” “As Big As All Outside,” and “It’s Easy.”
The opening track, “Get Bleak” sets a thematic tone for the EP, one of cultural self-awareness and satiric critiques of society’s pressures and the often ridiculous demands – and prices we pay – to exist. Chiming with breezy indie guitar sounds akin to those of Flying Nun and Sarah Records acts, the track, that features a contribution from Laura Hermiston of Twist, pokes fun at the idea that moving from city to city will fix the problems in your life. Following suit is “Gleaming Spires”, a track that zeroes in on the cities we live in and the push-pull relationships that we so often share with them. “Anhedonia”, via it’s tightly-wound rhythm and nostalgia-inked guitars, shifts focus to the times when one is unable to wring any joy out of the things that they find important in life.
Whereas the original tracks on the EP demonstrate the debut stylings of Ducks Ltd., the bonus tracks on the album serve as indications of their music to come later on Carpark Records. Bringing the band’s characteristic restless bounce, thoughtful lyricism and penchant for orchestration, the tracks explore topics like troubled friendships (“It’s Easy”), self-destructive desires (“Oblivion”), and living with decline (“As Big As All Outside”) while maintaining the balance of earnest self-reflection and humor that endeared audiences to the original release.
Full of the unbridled radiance of jangle-pop, the expanded re-issue of Ducks Ltd.’s Get Bleak celebrates the strength of their debut release while expanding their thematic and compositional horizons, and providing an intriguing glimpse of what’s to come.
Ducks Ltd. are a Toronto band featuring Australian lead guitarist Evan Lewis and U.K-born, U.S.-raised singer, bassist, and rhythm guitarist Tom McGreevy. As Ducks Ltd., the two thrive on skirting the edges of buoyant jangle pop and driving power pop. Their latest album, Harm’s Way, contains anxious songs that McGreevy explains are “about struggling. About watching people I care for suffer, and trying to figure out how to be there for them. And about the strain of living in the world when it feels like it’s ready to collapse.”
Harm’s Way is an undeniable evolution of Ducks Ltd.’s songwriting process. Where their critically acclaimed 2021 debut Modern Fiction and 2019 EP Get Bleak were self-recorded and self-produced in a Toronto basement, here, they made an LP in Chicago with producer Dave Vettraino and some of their favorite musicians. These collaborators include Finom’s Macie Stewart, Ratboys’ Julia Steiner and Marcus Nuccio, Dehd’s Jason Balla, Moontype’s Margaret McCarthy, Lawn’s Rui De Magalhaes, Dummy’s Nathan O’Dell, and Patio’s Lindsey-Paige McCloy. Ducks Ltd.’s touring drummer Jonathan Pappo also appears on the LP.
The band first showed this collaborative streak on a 2023 covers EP, which featured guests like Mo Troper, Ratboys, Illuminati Hotties, and Jane Inc. that boasted renditions of songs by The Cure, The Feelies, and The Jesus and Mary Chain. Where those songs started as ideas on days off from tour, Harm’s Way is also a product of writing on the road while supporting acts like Nation of Language and Archers of Loaf. “When we got signed, we had played maybe five or six shows ever,” says McGreevy. “After last year, it’s well in the hundreds. Those things change your perception of your own music and songwriting.”
This well-earned and road-tested confidence made the making of this LP their most intuitive and organic yet. “Our relationship is built on trust and we don’t let our egos come into the creative process in any way,” says Lewis. “We have this really great thing where every decision with the band is filtered through both of us. Here especially, we really figured out how to make something that truly sounds like us.”
- North American publicity by Pitch Perfect
- College/Non-Commercial radio by Terrorbird (i asked dawood to talk to lili and shannon to see if they want to try aaa and comm spec too so will await word)
- Digital playlisting & positioning by Terrorbird
- Sync licensing by Terrorbird
- Reissued EP with three bonus tracks
- Music video in the works for “As Big As All Outside”
- Facebook boosted posts and targeted Instagram dark posts throughout campaign
1. Get Bleak
2. Gleaming Spires
3. Annie Forever
6. As Big As All Outside
7. It’s Easy