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Devil Duck were introduced to Gunner & Smith by labelmates and friends Dead South. The music of Gunner & Smith has always been a collection of fiery elements, blending searing guitars, brawny rhythms and distinct folk-family vocals. But on "Byzantium", the grou's second full length album, the songs simmer and seethe with a newfound brooding energy that looks at the darker sides of love, loss and humanity. Inspired by Townes van Zandt, Neil Young and Pink Floyd, Gunner & Smith considers this album their indie folk-rock, post-David Bowie blues. Recorded at Sinewave Studios, around 80km away from their home in Saskatoon, Gunner & Smith built their recorded sound with a gear gathered and borrowed from friends and family scattered across Canada. Recorded in six and a half days "Byzantium" was produced by Andrija Tokic of Nashville - the producer behind Alabama Shakes' debut album "Boys & Girls". Tokic is known for bringing in the live feel and energy of classic Muscle Shoals, Stax and Atlantic recordings from the 1960s-70s. He flew to Saskatoon and recorded the Gunner & Smith sessions live off the floor straight to analog tape. Geoff Smith, self declared history nerd with a Master's Degree in Religious History, ist he songwriter and band founder who wrote this album as a densely layered narrative that weaves and wends ominous tales of imaginative and tactile worlds. The album title is a real place. It's a besieged ancient empire centred in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul). The album hints at the endless cycles of war and waste that plague humanity. While the themes are seemingly grim, the music keeps the mood buoyant. "Part indie, part country, lots of twang, and completely nostalgic, it was easy to compare Gunner & Smith's sound with The Deep Dark Woods, The Wilderness Of Manitoba, and The Dead South." - Great Dark Wonder. "Geoff Smith is a history nerd with the credentials to back it up, a master's in religious history to be exact, so it is fitting that the title for his band's latest album is named after an ancient Greek civilization...With an album's title taken after the besieged ancient empire of the same name, band leader Geoff Smith creates a haunting world that reflects on the more sullen sides of humanity." - Saskatoon Star Phoenix
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