The Dutchess and the Duke may have disbanded only late last year, but Jesse Lortz has not been resting on his heels. Instead he holed up in a cabin with some trusted associates to form Case Studies, a new project thatâ€™s stripped back to the bare bones of folk.
Each song is performed as though the only audience is a campfire, with Lortzâ€™s rich, smoky voice often accompanied by fragile female tones. Thereâ€™s a balance there that is perfect for the precise simplicity of Case Studiesâ€™ sound. Sometimes all you really need is a guitar and some lyrics to make a damn fine song.
â€œThe Eagle or the Serpentâ€ sounds like it could have been taken from Johnny Cashâ€™s ghost, while the production on â€œSecretsâ€ makes it sound like it was recorded in the 60’s. â€œTexas Ghost Storyâ€ manages to be delicately beautiful even in the gloom, and â€œThe Day We Metâ€ is an absolute treat, from its whispery tones to the upbeat whistling that ends the record. Wherever Lortz decides to take his music next, itâ€™s clear that he has the resilience and creativity to continue putting out brilliant releases quickly and consistently.