For the first track of the album, we open up with ‘Beautiful’, which was also the opening track from his EP ‘Worlds on Fire’. Duncan described the song in his Song Stories, that the story was originally was about a friend from school, which then evolved to a song about his friends now, who knows him behind the stage.
The slow and mellow vibe continues on to the second track, which is ‘Yet’. Duncan co-wrote the track with Lodewijk MartensMatthijs de RondenWill Knox. The song was inspired by a poem by Lang Leav. In a Song Story post on Instagram Duncan said “You’re like looking into the future, and imagining what your lover will be like”.
We then move on to two tracks, which looks at the theme of heartbreak. We start off with ‘Between Good and Goodbye’, where Duncan sings about a relationship that is about to end, and Duncan singing that if a relationship is to end, it would be best to have closure and just say what has changed in the relationship. We then move on to ‘Loves You Like I Couldn’t Do’, we see this from the other person perspective’s where despite the heartbreak that has happened, you would like to wish the person well, and that they’ll be able to find the person who’ll love them in the way the couldn’t.
The fifth track of the album is ‘Sleeping on the Phone’. Duncan co-wrote the track with his fiance ‘Jordan Garfield’. In his ‘Small Town Boy’ Live session, Duncan mentioned that this is his personal favorite from the album. Lyrically the song is about missing someone; when the other person you like is halfway around the world, and everything is getting to be a bit too much. Duncan is basically saying that no matter where you are in the world, just talk to that person and that they’ll speak with you; until you are both sleeping on your phones.
Now, we are halfway through the album, and we see something familiar for Eurovision fans, it is, of course, Duncan’s Eurovision winning entry ‘Arcade’, which we obviously know what’s about.
After Arcade, the tone of the album changes, and we are starting to hear more upbeat songs. We start off with the song ‘Figure It Out’ which as the title of the song states, that you have time to figure things out for yourself and that you can figure things out with the person close to you. We then continue this theme with one of Duncan’s latest singles ‘Last Night’ which he mentions is a “tribute to imperfect relationships because vulnerability and imperfection are more beautiful than perfection”.
We then continue on with the theme of conflict, as the next track of the album is ‘Someone Else’. Duncan mentions that it’s about “The emotional roller coaster of constantly thinking of that one person you loved so deeply but who you can’t be with anymore. This continues on in “Love Don’t Hate It”, where Duncan mentions in an interview with Billboard that “‘It’ is a song about fighting for who you are and who you choose to love because in the end, it is always your choice to make.
We then come to the final two tracks of the album, with “Umbrella” where, Duncan sings about being at the right time to move on from the heartbreak that you have experienced. We then the final track “Feel Something” which Duncan collaborated with Dutch DJ Armin Van Burren, the song reflects on the pain of heartbreak on a backdrop of gritty beats and touches of synth-pop.
Personally, I really liked the album. I have not been invested in an album in such a long time, it was very meaningful and emotionally charged. I also felt that the album has this storyline, one which many can relate to. I would listen to it once again. However, I will make sure I’m prepared in case it gets emotional once again.
- Loves You Like I Couldn’t Do – This is my main favorite from the album. Duncan managed to bring to life something most people experience when people have to go their separate ways. If I’m going to be honest, this track did make me tearful on my first listen, as it manages to bring up old memories per se.
- Yet – I heard this when Duncan released his ‘Worlds on Fire’ EP in the Spring. It’s a song that I find myself singing, to the person who I might end up with in the future. I asked Duncan which poem by Lang Leav inspired the song, and I’m still yet to find out :P, so if you’re reading this Duncan, I hope you can answer that for me 😛
- Between Good and Goodbye – Summarising my highlights from the album, you can tell that I really like the songs which has a lot of meaning, and have to do with heartbreak. The reason I like this is that Duncan sings about the importance of closure, and that if things have to end, please have the decency to tell each other the truth, and know that if you’re on the receiving end of things they’ll understand !
What did they say? “Small Town Boy” reviewed by fellow ESCXTRA team membersAs well as myself, a few other editors in the ESCXTRA team gave the album a whirl. Here is what they thought of Duncan’s debut effort.
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