"All we do is eat, sleep, fuck repeat," sing-speaks Ducky on "Mickey and Mallory"—the opening cut from You on Top EP, premiering below. You know what's she's talking about. It's that routine you fall into when you've just started seeing someone and all you wanna do is devour them. Black out the windows, forget your friends, Seamless is your only communication with the outside world. Hey, it happens—if you're lucky—and eventually you emerge blinking into the light. Ducky knows. At least that's what I'm getting from this song.
"I’d met this guy in Berlin—his best friend is a good friend of mine, and introduced us, and I ended up ditching everyone and spending this amazing three days with him," recalls the San Francisco-born singer. "Like, I let my phone die and had to bang on the door of my friend’s apartment to get my suitcase on the way to the airport. We stayed in touch, and a few months later I posted something on Facebook about how I wanted to drive my high school car from San Francisco to New York, where I lived, asking if anyone wanted to go on a road trip. He told me he’d come with me. It was his first time in America ever. He flew to San Francisco and we spent ten days together, driving across the USA, sleeping in cheap motels, falling in love. Everybody thought we were crazy for going on this trip, barely knowing each other, but it was perfect.
"After he left, I wanted to capture the feeling of that time together. That’s where "Mickey and Mallory" ame from—it was something for myself, to play back and feel like my feet were up on the dash of my car, the two of us driving through Nebraska, looking for a Super 8 Motel and talking about whatever. The freshness of falling in love, but also the blissful comfort in finding a ride or die partner. And, of course, the names and a lot of the imagery are from Natural Born Killers. It’s that Bonnie and Clyde type of romance, partner in crime shit. You know."
I do know, Ducky. What a sick story. Musically it's a super-chill, weird-wonderful pop, full of unexpected grooves, interstellar bleeps and Ducky's (seemingly) horizontally delivered flow. From the eerie, minimalist coo of "22," to the deconstructed, cut and paste club-pop of "Hands Up," to the B-more club bounce of standout track "I'm Not a Player But…" this 22 year old is riding her own wave.
According to Ducky a.k.a. Morgan Neiman, this EP is a sweet first taste to sample her stuff, but it's also just the first bite. She's got a remix and collaboration coming out on Knightwerk Records, and a whole other EP on deck which she describes as "ethereal and floaty," swerving from the left into a more mainstream pop lane. Oh and she's also writing a record that's more (Pro)-tooled for the club. Sounds like she's doing everything but having time for the eat-sleep-fuck-repeat bliss cycle.
"I think I’ve managed to carve out a sound that is distinctly mine, and I’m really proud of that," she explains of You on Top. "If anything, the increasing variety in my production is a product of that comfort, of feeling like I know what makes a song my own. I can write a club track, and I can write a pop song, and I can write something weird and broken and downtempo, and they all sound like me. It’s a wonderful feeling, and something I’ve wanted from my art for a really long time."
And if this EP was a movie? It'd be "a lo-fi, slightly surreal cult film."
Ducky adds: "Like, a story of young love and drugs shot in the summer on Super 8, but the sex scenes aren’t simulated, and you can tell the director loves Jodorowsky.
You on Top is out now
Kim Taylor Bennett would like to experience some "Mickey and Mallory" in her life right about now. She's on Twitter.