On Nina Simone and noir: A chat with The Duchess and The Fox

This is a story of the chance encounter behind the seductively stormy ballads of The Duchess and The Fox.

On a balmy summer night, Andrea Diaz (of Superhuman Happiness) wends her way home from rehearsal and stops by Manhattan Inn. Joe McGinty, former keyboardist for Psychedelic Furs and session musician for the Ramones and Ryan Adams (among others), is hosting live piano karaoke.

Andrea requests a Nina Simone song. Joe plays; Andrea sings. Then she slips out without a word, leaving only a scrap of paper with her contact information.

That exchange was the genesis of The Duchess and The Fox. From the midsummer meeting came a collection of modern noir ballads, with inspirations ranging from Burt Bacharach and Lee Hazlewood to the aforementioned Nina Simone and Scott Walker.

Last night, The Duchess and The Fox hosted a record release party in the most fitting of spaces — the dim, speakeasy-invoking Red Room in downtown Manhattan.

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