Boston-based artist Munk Duane has just released his latest single, Just A Word, and we here at the Send Me Your Ears studio have been taking several listens today.
Just A Word is his second release of this year. In 2021 he became busy composing for film and television after being invited to contribute to the Extreme Music library – the production music arm of Sony Music Publishing.
Starting with some warm and melodic basslines with keys/pads, the song quickly develops with the addition of some electronic drums. As soon as Duane’s vocals join the mix, you know you’re in for a smooth R&B/ contemporary soul ride.
Duane’s voice is clear and upfront in the mix. The vocals are layered and at times, some gorgeous backing vocal harmonies are added. This is a song that makes you want to grab a coffee and just sit and chill out. Clearly taking inspiration from the likes of Prince and Stevie Wonder, Duane is an artist whose strengths are in creating highly listenable studio recordings.
We love how the effects on the vocals come and go (for example, the reverbs on the vocals towards the end make it sound very distant, but it is then brought back forward again for the end) and how the song has many different sections for the listener to get their teeth into. The rise and fall within the track is exciting and helps maintain the interest throughout.
There are some beautiful breakdown sections and all the time there is something exciting to raise your spirits. We love the use of strings that take you off to a euphoric and chilled-out place.
The lyrics are clever and engaging “You speak by saying nothing. I need just a word”. There are moments where different instruments take the lead for just a second – the guitar keeps teasing you into thinking that you may be heading for a solo but then drops back and lets the bass take control again.
We loved the quality of Duane’s voice. There is an effortless and understated power here that really takes off towards the end of the song, and the decision to end the track on vocals alone shows a confidence in his voice that is well-founded.
Munk’s music has been licensed to hundreds of television and film productions such as Hulu’s Pam & Tommy, The 70th Annual Tony Awards, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Hawaii Five-O, 60 Minutes, NCIS and Blue Bloods, to The Sopranos, the Super Bowl Half-Time Show and NCAA March Madness.
For fans of Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, Munk Duane’s latest single, Just A Word, is an absolute must!