Preview: Ducks Ltd. Bring Their Breezy Pop to Empty Bottle

No band operating in the jangle-pop niche is half as hyped-up as Toronto duo Ducks Ltd. Composed of singer Tom McGreevy and lead guitarist Evan Lewis, the band has steadily grown in stature during their post-pandemic grind of touring and putting out well-regarded indie rock records. Harm’s Way was recorded in Chicago and released earlier this year on DC label Carpark Records. It was a cohesive effort that saw the band thoroughly establish their sound and approach to pop music. 

The sonic palette and songwriting are as breezy as they come, and Ducks, Ltd. seem to understand their strengths. It’s inoffensive music, but their songs never feel whimsical or low-stakes. Fans of Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Real Estate will be treated to the finer qualities of each of these bands, although the Ducks Ltd. sound is fully realized and distinct enough that it stands on its own. With a string of headlining dates, including one on April 14th at Empty Bottle, this young band is hitting its stride.

How this young band will evolve over time is an exciting prospect. You can draw parallels to fellow Torontonians ALVVAYS, who expanded their sound from a similar template. At this point, there aren't many rough edges they need to smooth out. Perhaps the biggest question (to be answered Sunday at The Bottle) is how they are going to present their songs live. The straightforward songwriting and precise execution on their records aren’t necessarily rigid, but Ducks Ltd. will have ample opportunity to get loose and breathe new life into these songs in their live shows. 

A few Chicago musicians (most notably Finom’s Macie Stewart, Ratboys’ Julia Steiner, and Dehd’s Jason Balla) feature on their records, so you might get a run-in from an Empty Bottle fixture or two at the show. This young band is coming into its own in real-time, and with songs this affable, you could do worse than Ducks Ltd. at the Empty Bottle to ward off the Sunday scaries. 

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Patrick Daul