Canadian alt-rockers Ducks Ltd. have returned with a brand new single, the jangly and fast-paced rocker ‘Sheets of Grey’.
Even though ‘Sheets of Grey’ is a “new song”, it’s not really all that new. The song was written years prior, probably when the group were still known as Ducks Unlimited, and it’s been a part of their live repertoire for some time now. For whatever reason, the song didn’t have a proper place on the band’s great debut LP Modern Fiction, so now we get it on its own.
Modern Fiction complete flew under my radar last year. If you like your music upbeat and completely unafraid of playful hooks and springy guitar lines, then Ducks Ltd. are a band you need to adopt immediately as your own. Somehow Modern Fiction fits in ten songs in under 30 minutes, which is basically Ramones-level efficiency without the focus on breakneck speed. Instead, Ducks Ltd. have trimmed every last bit of fat on their music, keeping simplicity and catchiness as their primary modus operandi.
‘Sheets of Grey’ is right within the formula that the band has perfected: light, sunny, and melody-heavy. But ‘Sheets of Grey’ has some darker corners to explore just below its jangle pop exterior. As explained by band member Tom McGreevy, the song is actually about the overwhelming elements that can come with mental illness.
“It’s about the inertia of depression, and how hard it can be to break out of those cycles, but also about the pleasure of embracing that state,” McGreevy explains. “There is a certain, temporary comfort to be found in the abyss! Somewhere right before it inevitably becomes extremely awful.”
“This song is actually one of the oldest in our catalogue,” McGreevy continues. “We wrote it around the same time as ‘Get Bleak’, or maybe a little bit after, and played it live a bunch, but never quite finished it. We kept poking at it for a long time until we finally got it to where we wanted it to be, which happened during the Modern Fiction sessions. We ended up leaving it off the record as it didn’t quite thematically fit with the other songs, but I’m excited we’re finally getting to put it out as I’ve always liked it.”
Check out the audio for ‘Sheets of Grey’ down below.