Presley Duyck, hailing from Frisco, Texas, is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. With a lifetime of singing under her belt, she was on the cusp of realizing her dream role in a dream show, before the pandemic of 2020 struck and the show was abruptly cancelled. Instead of letting this setback defeat her, Duyck channeled her disappointment into songwriting, giving birth to her debut single “Passenger Seat” – a testament to her hard work, songwriting prowess, and powerhouse vocals. A true artist, Duyck proves that even in the face of adversity, she can create something truly extraordinary. She has never looked back since then, releasing a series of stunning singles which crossed-over compelling blends of folk, pop and indie-rock, highlighting her poignant, soulful vocals, her acute songwriting focus, and the top tier musical productions backing up her intoxicating performances.
In 2023, Presley Duyck keeps her momentum going with her latest single, “Daniel Caesar”. This is a song that grows in quiet stature with every listen. New nuggets of meaning making its way to the surface, peeking through the beautiful instrumentation that weaves a stunning, enchanting tapestry. On top, Presley’s affecting voice narrates the dissolving of an intense relationship. Perhaps the song’s biggest virtue is that despite the emotional content, it never wallows.
Few artists strike gold on every record they create but, for the umpteenth time in a row, Presley Duyck has done it again, crafting yet another mesmerizing record. “I can’t listen to Daniel Caesar without thinking of you. And it’s not that I miss you. It’s just something about the groove,” sings Presley, before she eventually sentences the ultimate truth. “But I think our song is played out. Yeah, I think our song is played out, and I hate the way it sounds now,” she concludes.
The confessions and the decisions made, are done with a gentle self-acceptance and mental fortitude that elevates “Daniel Caesar” above being a mere love, or break-up song. Presley Duyck embraces the termination of her sentiments for someone and transposes that feeling into empowerment and a new beginning. “It’s God’s plan to pull us apart. You called me on my cellphone and I broke your heart. Cause one of us had to be smart,” she sings. Presley’s emotions are distilled so potently into her lyrics.
Produced by Chris Garcia, musically, too, “Daniel Caesar” basks in its own self-determination. The insistent beat, the jangling guitars and the resolute basslines give the song an unwavering aesthetic. Relationships can be brilliant, colorful, and numbing all at once, while their endings are particularly perplexing, Presley Duyck manages to articulate this latter phase rather appropriately in this song.
If records about shifting relationships normally tend to gloss over the small details of how that changes someone, “Daniel Caesar” probes the consequences of those nuances, and the will to move on. “I won’t listen to Aubrey Graham. You can keep him that’s ok. Cause I will find another album. And I will dance and sing and sway.”
Presley Duyck’s approach to sonic storytelling is so perfectly constructed. It’s wise and meticulous in its imagery, and it’s melodically captivating too. Continuing with this rate of musical excellence, Presley Duyck is making it very hard for the industry, or anyone else to ignore her.