Deuce | Credit: Kayleigh Heydon (Self Timer)

Track By Track: Deuce Lift the Veil on Their New Album ‘Wild Type’

Melbourne/Naarm band Deuce revolves around the songwriting partnership of Kayleigh Heydon and Curtis Wakeling. We were introduced to the pair’s friendly, evocative dream pop courtesy of their 2021 debut album, Deuce. The band’s second album, Wild Type, is out now via Dinosaur City Records, and it’s another exposition of the rousing power of jangly guitars, moody synthesisers and idiosyncratic vocal performances.

For album two, Heydon and Wakeling expanded the band’s lineup to also include keyboardist Claudia Colvin, drummer Jake O’Brien and bass player Angie Brown. To coincide with the album’s release, Deuce talk us through Wild Type, one track at a time.

Deuce: Wild Type

1. Fall Apart

Deuce: ‘Fall Apart’ is about friendships and community and the importance of nurturing those relationships above all else. Musically, it is sparse, giving the vocals space to shine along with accompanying slide guitar parts. The backbone is an arpeggiated synthesised choir, which gives the song a dreamy feel. 

2. Sleep Talking

Deuce: The first part written for this song was the bass line, which was written by Kayleigh. When you listen to the song with that in mind, I think you hear it differently. The song is about a relationship that seems to be on autopilot. The tenderness and connection has disappeared and they are almost strangers.

The lyrics are the internal dialogue of one of the lovers, thinking of all the reasons they should leave, but seemingly coming to a conclusion and overwhelming feeling of being bonded to this person in a way that they couldn’t be without them. “How could I leave you behind?” feels like a statement of despair and total confusion about what they should do.

3. Rabbit Hole

Deuce: ‘Rabbit Hole’ is constructed from a driving synthesiser arpeggiator line. This was one of the first songs to come together. The lyrics were written at some point during the lockdowns of 2021, a low point during lockdowns when tensions were high and conspiracies were running rampant. The song pulls together all of the rabbit holes people can fall down when hope feels thin.

4. Breathe

Deuce: ‘Breathe’ is a song written to a lover about trust and growth. The passing of time and growing of trust allows you to feel safe enough to open up, be vulnerable and feel the pressure lifting off your chest. Maybe the world becomes lighter as you’re able to be held by someone else, physically and emotionally.

5. That Hill

Deuce: Lyrically, this song sits in a dream-like nostalgia describing the sensory feelings when the mind is adrift and sounds and feelings from the environment are pouring in. The song is propelled by a melody that’s doubled on guitar and bass, while an aching slide guitar gives the song a melancholic feel. Trumpets in the outro, played by Jake O’Brien, build on this golden afternoon daydream feel. 

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Deuce’s Curtis Wakeling and Kayleigh Heydon | Credit: Jordanne Chant

6. Control

Deuce: This song is one of the most personal songs on the album. It’s explicitly written about a past abuser and their need for control and corresponding submission throughout a long relationship.

Kayleigh thought for a long time about whether this song was something that would give her abuser power because she was still so affected by the harm caused all these years on. Or was the opposite the case; was Kayleigh regaining control by sharing the story, shedding light on the kinds of relationships that people go through all too frequently?

To regain autonomy, talking about these experiences with people can be one of the most terrifying and healing experiences. So, Kayleigh decided to use the opportunity to do that and in turn feel at peace with that time in her life.

7. Blue 

Deuce: ‘Blue’ was meant to be on the first album. We had the chords written and we love the energy of the song, but as the album came to a close, we didn’t have lyrics. We wanted to do the song justice, so we pressed pause and decided to revisit the song when we had more of a body of work for the second album.

The lyrics are still very much linked to the pandemic, talking about the feeling of needing to leave, feeling suffocated and wanting something new and different. These themes are things we as humans feel at intervals throughout life – the itch to move, experience something new, the need to shake off stagnation.

8. Medicine

Deuce: This song is about the low feelings we’ve all experienced in life. The rejection of love and the things you know are good for you because of the poor opinion you hold of yourself. Lacking tenderness for yourself, you lock people out, in turn hurting them too.

9. Wild Type

Deuce: This song began its life as the playful bass line and dreamy keyboard patch, reminiscent of ‘Live it Up’ by Mental As Anything. The lyrics describe the mixed emotions of leaving a relationship and the apprehension of living life alone once again. 

10. Seven Hour Flower 

Deuce: This song was written during the recording of our debut album, but it was given new life after being stripped back to bass and drums and built up again. The lyrics are a collage of lines taken from Kayleigh’s Notes app. A mismatch of thoughts and poetic lines came together to bring together a seemingly clear message about self-worth and friendships as we grow older.

Get Wild Type by Deuce on Bandcamp.

Further Reading

Track by Track: Hannah Blackburn Breaks Down Her Spare and Intimate Debut Album ‘I Want to Love You’

Track By Track: Babitha Unpacks Her Debut Album ‘Brighter Side of Blue’

Laura Jean: “I’m Really Interested in My Audience Coming From All Walks of Life”

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