27 Sep 2021

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Duchess formed in late 2004, making their live debut at the Illicit Streetwear Christmas party that same year. Comprised of three girls from the mighty Waikato and one boy from Bethells beach, Anna, Aidee, Janna and Jonny are based in Auckland city and have been playing around the big smoke ever since with the likes of Goldenhorse, Goodshirt, Pluto, Ladi 6, SJD, The Mint Chicks, This Night Creeps, Voom and Coco Solid.

Duchess formed from the ashes of the three girls’ teenage ghetto-pop band. As maturity dampened their taste for the sugary-sweet, they dissolved and stayed quiet for over a year. But after Anna spent another summer in her hometown of Raglan writing songs about social ineptitude, heartbreak, the perils of development, Hamilton night clubs, bad gardening experiences, and swimming, she realised that the therapeutic value of said songs would not be fully realised until she could play them live with Aidee and Janna. They also realised, however, that their definitive vision for this next-level pop required something more. They found it after one practice/shared lunch with drummer Jonny.

Duchess still make pop music, but it has more substance than such a term would have you believe. It’s less like a 50c mixture (which back in ’87 was enough to make you sick and rot your teeth) and more like a homemade biscuit with a cup of tea, served in an old tea cup with matching saucer, probably with a floral pattern (preferably roses). The biscuit recipe is a make-do special because you don’t have all the right ingredients and can’t be bothered going to the store, but it ends up tasting exactly how you want it to. Duchess are strong advocates of the make-do special. They know that fancy instruments are not a prerequisite for making good music, and that more money will not necessarily make your record sound any better, or you look any more stylish. They have proven that a classy tea party can be thrown together on even the tightest budget with mis-matched crockery, home-baked goods and volunteers. They do not claim, nor are they interested in, virtuoso musical abilities, but believe that with a bit of taste you can do a good song far more justice. They put these ideas to the test when recording their self-titled, independently released 6-song EP and, though at times it felt like pushing shit uphill, were pleased to be proven right. Produced by Edmund Cake (Anika Moa, formerly of Bressa Creeting Cake), it is often melodic, harmonic and friendly, occasionally distressed, antisocial or nasty, but always very honest.

Band Members:
Anna Coddington (guitar, vocals)
Aidee Walker (keyboards, backing vocals, percussion)
Janna Hawkins (bass)
Jonny Corker (drums, backing vocals)




  • Auckland

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