Hilltop Views

Duncan Fellows band explores topics of persistence and moral potential

Hannah Liek

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If you’re part of Austin’s Christian subculture—you’re familiar with Young Life, work Christian summer camps and read Bob Goff—then you’ve probably heard Duncan Fellows’ music. For those who haven’t, it’s a must.

Genres are hard to define, but Duncan Fellows is closest to indie rock. The American garage band started in Austin, and after achieving popularity, still plays in the city frequently. They’ve released two beautiful EPs and a single, all of which are hits.

One of the most unique and brilliant characteristics of their music are their guitar riffs. They’re not necessarily hard to play (pretty slow and casual), but they’re different than other indie rock bands’ rifts. These are more catchy and more memorable.

 The lyrics are memorable too. They hit you hard. Their songs aren’t worship at all, but they seem to allude to scripture and the Christian experience like their song “New Skin” which probably points to Matthew 9:17. Plus the Fellows are just irreverent enough to avoid the cheesiness to which most bands singing about this stuff succumb.

For non-Christian listeners, Duncan Fellows’ lyrics are just as relevant as they dissect topics like the difficulty of persistence and the inability to reach full moral potential.

In a phone interview with Hilltop Views, the founders of the band, guitar player and vocalist Colin Harman and guitar and mandolin player Cullen Trevino, said that in the band’s earlier years, they wrote a lot about their beliefs as Christians.

“Now it’s a bit about that and a lot of it is about wresting with ‘Damn, what do I actually believe?’“ Harman said.

The band has debuted these new themes in their shows, playing songs from their upcoming full-length album that they hope to release sometime in November. The album’s potential name is “Late Summer Blues.”

After selling-out shows on their West Coast tour with Joseph, an alt-rock band from Portland, the Fellows were back in Austin Sep 22, playing at the Hard Luck Lounge.

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Duncan Fellows band explores topics of persistence and moral potential