Before there was Duchess, there was Handsome Geoffrey, a trio from Hamilton Girls’ High School who won the Smokefree Rockquest in 1998. They added Jon Corker (formerly of Rubicon) on drums, dropped the Rockquest theatrics, and emerged as Duchess, still with Anna Coddington’s melodious songwriting at the heart.
The “You Buried Me Alive” video is a simple performance video, with the band set up in a black room. Anna and Aidee have really sweet vocals, but the song has slightly dark lyrics. The video goes even darker, shot in a shadowy, gothic palette. Against this gloomy setting, Anna’s vocals sound even sweeter and more innocent, which in turn adds tension when the crunch ’90s-style guitar riffs come along.
The footage is also interrupted by animated plant roots, a dark weed twisting around the scenes. This actually seems unnecessary, like an attempt to underscore how dark and gothic things are, in case Aidee’s chipper blonde style was too distracting.
But all up, it’s a good introduction to Duchess. Sweet, girly, but a lot darker and stronger than first appearances might suggest.
Best bit: Jon’s fedora, sitting at a jaunty angle.