3 Dec 2022

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Kay Duncan - Album Review: Interstellar Refugee

23 May 2022 // A review by Kev Rowland

On this her debut album, Kay Duncan provides vocals and guitar, and she is joined by her husband Guy Hobson on keyboards and brother-in-law Stephen McDaid on lead guitar. I was initially listening to this while working outside on the farm and it took me a while to work out who her voice often reminded me of, namely Karen Carpenter. Musically this is very different indeed to the heavily layered arrangements of that duo, but there are just times when her voice is very close indeed, such as on numbers like When She’s Weeping. However, she also has a strong country voice, with plenty of depth and passion. 

Kay has obviously developed many of these numbers on acoustic guitar, but Guy is incredibly sensitive in his accompaniment, sometimes providing tinkling guitar which drifts in and out, and others totally changing the attack with different keyboard styles and settings. The same applies to Stephen, who provides sensitive leads when the time is right. This does not feel like a modern album, but rather one which is firmly rooted in the Seventies with some looks back into the Sixties at times, with You Are Not Alone reminiscent of some of the torch songs by Bette Midler, and I was not surprised to realise that this was the lead single off the album as it has real presence and emotion. There are times when it is difficult to realise that this is a debut album, as Kay has a great voice and there is a strong variety of songs which makes this a delight to listen to. I can easily imagine my wife playing this album and enjoying it, and given that our tastes rarely come into conjunction that is some praise on my part. 

The title cut is a science fiction story which tells the story of the last man on earth, and the delicacy the subject is dealt with means we soon become heavily involved. This is a somewhat lighter number, based on picked acoustic and vocals, with just a few orchestral synths for backing. Here Kay sings in a somewhat lower register, bringing forth emotion, and it is these songs where she uses the acoustic where she comes over best, whereas the more electronic Remedy which has a high amount of drum machine, does not work as well. But then she can turn onto an acoustic, blues-based number such as I Love The Day which is basic in the extreme, but full of passion, and she is forgiven. 

This is a really enjoyable album containing multiple styles, but all firmly rooted with great vocals throughout. 

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Kay Duncan

Kay Duncan's songs are soulful, abundant with emotive undercurrents. Honest songs of our days, from a life lived, articulating depth & connecting to the listener on many levels. Lyrics are narrative, poetic & sometimes unconventional. Themes of love, life, loss, longing & environment, are poignant & trace memories of the past, resonate with the present and carry within them messages for the future.

With a rich and sensual alto voice that has been likened to a blend of Joni Mitchell and Karen Carpenter, Kay delivers her songs with warmth and passion.

Originally from the Naval port Island city of Portsmouth in England, she immigrated to Christchurch in the early 1980’s.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Kay Duncan


Interstellar Refugee
Year: 2022
Type: Album

Other Reviews By Kev Rowland

KEV'S TOP 10's - 2022
02 Dec 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Last year, as a bit of fun, I put together my Top 10’s of NZ music for the year. I may well have created an issue for myself though, as more than a few have asked when the 2022 version is coming out, so here it is in time for the last ever MNZ newsletter in its current form.
Single Review: Lana Paige - Deluded
01 Dec 2022 // by Kev Rowland
When the mighty Seas of Conflict released their latest single, Consume, it featured the rock vocals of Lana Paige, who I have previously seen perform as frontwoman for Dogtooth Amethyst, who recently changed their name to Enclosures. I sent Lana the review, and it was only when chatting with her that I realised she had released a single earlier in the year, so of course the only thing to do is listen to it and then write a review.
Blindspott - EP Review: Volume. II
01 Dec 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the second instalment of Blindspott’s next album, Volumes. There are going to be 12 tracks in total, and when they released Volume.
Gig Review: Lazy Fifty @ Paraoa Brewing, Whangaparaoa - 24/11/2022
24 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
For my only gig this week, not only am I out on a school night, but I have struggled all the way from South Auckland up to Whangaparaoa, and I must admit it has been years since I have been here. Tonight, Australian trio 19-Twenty are in town, but to be honest I am here for the support band, Lazy Fifty whose last album, 2021: A Lazy Odyssey, I reviewed a year ago.
Reuben Hudson - EP Review: Cloudhead
24 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
This five-track EP is the latest release from Melbourne-based, Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland, New Zealand) multi-instrumentalist and songwriter/producer, Reuben Hudson. Featuring David Harris on drums (Princess Chelsea), mixed by Peter Ruddell (Wax Chattels, Sulfate) and mastered by James Goldsmith (Mermaidens), everything else was played and performed by Reuben himself.
Brian Baker - Single Review: I Won't Back Down
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Although Tom Petty was a massive success in the States, he never saw anything like the same in the UK until he partnered with Jeff Lynne and together, they came up with the masterpiece which is Full Moon Fever. I was blown away and had it on repeat the year I started dating my now wife, and any song from that album always makes me think of 1989, where I was, with no idea my life would be changing dramatically (and for the better).
Bad Jelly Collective - Single Review: Paradigms
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Here we have the latest release from Bad Jelly Collective, which comprises Ben Clark (vocals, guitar, production) and Dave Weir (bass). It is lengthy for a single, being 5:36, but that is due to the large amount of repetition contained within and the very slow build which takes place.
The RVMES - Album Review: Simple Things
23 Nov 2022 // by Kev Rowland
Before I started writing this I went back to my review for the guys’ last album, Lifetime, and part of me thought about copying it pretty much word for word and see if anyone noticed, as I spoke at length as to how many genres they were covering, and we have the same here, possibly more so. Most bands choose a genre, possibly going into a related area as well, and pretty much stay there.
View All Articles By Kev Rowland

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Sam Smith And Kim Petras
    Taylor Swift
    Meghan Trainor
    Drake And 21 Savage
    David Guetta And Bebe Rexha
    Oliver Tree And Robin Schulz
    Chris Brown
  • 685 (REMIX)
    Victor J Sefo, Lisi And Mwayz
    venbee And goddard.
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem