An Incomplete History of the Dutchess and the Duke

"It was for making money."

2007 Then-fledgling Sub Pop subsidiary Hardly Art Records gets its hands on a 7″ with two songs, “Reservoir Park” and “Mary,” written by Jesse Lortz. They approach Lortz and his longtime musical collaborator Kimberly Morrison about releasing an album. “I totally lied and told them I had a bunch more songs,” Lortz recalls, “and I didn’t. I had to go home and write them all.”

July 8, 2008 The Dutchess and the Duke’s first record of revivalist ’60s folk-pop, She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke, comes out on Hardly Art Records and is met with adoration.

Summer 2008 The Dutchess and the Duke tour, opening for Fleet Foxes. “We didn’t even know how to play the songs,” Lortz says. “We had to learn them on tour.”

Fall 2008 Lortz starts a new band, Case Studies. “I needed something that was just for me,” he explains. “The Dutchess and the Duke wasn’t. It was for making money.” Lortz begins holding practices in his apartment on Mondays where anyone can come and play. When it comes to Case Studies, Lortz says, “I would rather there be more people in the band than in the audience.”

October 6, 2009 Sunset/Sunrise, The Dutchess and the Duke’s second and final record, comes out on Hardly Art. “We never practiced,” Lortz says. “Tour was our practice. And we never learned new songs because we hated practicing.”

June 8, 2010 The Dutchess and the Duke play a sold-out show at the Tractor Tavern. It does not go well. “We fucked up so many parts of the songs,” Lortz recalls.

October 5, 2010 The band announces its breakup, after a lot of drinking and “fucking up” on tour. “The past two years have been disastrous, personally,” Lortz says. “We got to play some pretty cool, big shows, but [the music’s] all based on misery.”

November 26, 2010 The Dutchess and the Duke’s final show is set to take place at the Tractor Tavern.

March 2011 Sacred Bones will release Case Studies’ first album.