Duncan Fellows
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Duncan Fellows

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Duncan Fellows - Twelve Months Older"

No one in this band is named Duncan Fellows. Let’s get that out of the way. It’s five college kids in an indie folk band, and they all have names like Cullen or Colin. They’re fairly new to the scene, having played their first shows around this time last year. They released this EP, Twelve Months Older, in September, without any fanfare or a high-profile show – yet four months later, every track on the album is sitting at a three-bar popularity rating on Spotify, which is more than the majority of Austin bands can say. Somebody’s listening, and it’s clear why.

Duncan Fellows’ general sound follows the indie folk formula: start with an acoustic guitar lick to get the chord changes in motion, then layer on drums, mandolin, cello, maybe some piano or bells. Throw some arpeggiated banjo and charming boy/girl vocals into the mix and you’ve got a proven stew. Now, even a mechanical band might come off halfway endearing following that recipe, but Duncan Fellows shows certain promise because of how masterfully they pull it off. (And when naiveté is the name of the game, that’s often harder than it sounds.) This EP’s only four songs long, so let’s take it track-by-track, shall we?

Twelve Months Older” – From the get-go, singer Colin Harman plays a confident frontman, taking the listener through an unassuming series of shifts in tempo and mood. His voice curls around each syllable with a delicate poignancy; in turn, the band swells and falls along with his words. By the time a given riff might have gone stale, the band has moved onto a new section – it’s this giddy penchant for exploration that gives Duncan Fellows their youthful charm.

“Stolen Black Cars” – This one features some of the most impactful lyrics, tactfully written so that the picture gradually comes into focus as painted by Harman’s breathy tenor. “People love like the leaves of autumn: beautiful, kind, indefinitely fallen,” he sings over plucked guitar. Vocalist Margot Stevenson joins in with a coy harmony, and the two eventually build together into full-voiced chorus with wistful cello wailing behind.

“Rich Man” – Perhaps the most musically straightforward of the bunch, it’s essentially a five-minute build; yet when Harman goes an octave up and wails, “I may never be a rich man, at least not like you know / but I’ll find my wealth in something else, like the words you said in July,” his terse sketch of a past relationship comes alive with bittersweet nostalgia.

“Arrow” – This piano-driven piece serves as the melancholy closer. The title hints at ascension, as does the refrain, a plea to “come upstairs and be free.” Yet the lyrics tell of a scene where friends sit around mourning a recent death. This kind of dichotomy, between dejection and hope, between life and its absence, features prominently throughout the release, and it’s appropriate that the closer should sum up the problem so succinctly.

Overall, Twelve Months Older is tight and unexpectedly substantial, a singular and purposeful expression of love and loss with a folksy backdrop. If you’re into indie-minded pop-folk with its heart laid bare (i.e. Page France, Avett Brothers, or locals like Wild Child or Danny Malone), give this up-and-coming band a listen.

- Kevin Allen - Ovrld.com

"5-1-Tunes: Duncan Fellows"

The aroma of beer and barbecue that permeated the dimly lit room at Lamberts on March 29 perfectly represented Duncan Fellows’ southern essence. Girls in Sunday dresses tightly clutched their Shiners, accompanied by all-American boys in Hawaiian shirts, cutoff shorts and squeaky-clean new loafers. A seemingly odd crowd for the self-proclaimed “folk-Americana” group, but as soon as they began their set and the drunken audience started howling along with the music, it became clear they were in the right place. Story by Maria Nuñez

For these six college students, Duncan Fellows is just one of many priorities. Between writing essays and cramming for exams, the band manages to squeeze in some practice time at lead singer Colin Harman’s house, which he shares with eight other friends. Over the last year and a half, the group has played enough gigs to get a small taste of life as aspiring musicians.

Through a network of mutual friends, the band came together to play backup for a show guitarist Cullen Trevino had with his roommate. After a few more informal gigs, they decided to get serious in the fall of 2012, although they still weren’t sure what they were onto. “From the time we started writing and playing, we didn’t even know we were a band,” Colin says. “We still don’t know if we’re a band,” Cullen laughs.

Reflecting on their first gig at the Red Eyed Fly, the group can’t help but laugh in embarrassment, recalling how awful the performance was. “People kept coming up to us saying how good it was,” Harman says. “But they were just our friends, so I think they felt bad.”

The dynamic in Duncan Fellows resembles a close-knit group of friends — more than just band mates. The gang gets along effortlessly, behaving almost like siblings (even down to the teasing of the only girl in the group, Margot Stevenson). This easygoing relationship translates into an effortlessly relaxed stage show, blurring the line between performing and just hanging out.


Speaking of performance, Duncan Fellows has no problem dominating the stage, treating Lamberts like their home and the audience their personal houseguests. The group makes its rounds in the cramped room before the set, thanking their fans and snapping a few pictures with the moms in attendance. In return, the audience interacts warmly with the group throughout the 10-song set, joining them for the choruses of “Stolen Black Cars” and “Rich Man.” “The way our crowd sings those songs, that’s huge. It does a lot for us,” bassist David Stimson says.

The band has struck a winning formula with its simple, yet catchy, tunes, which Harman says express life experiences in a non-cliché manner. Harman and Stevenson’s vocal interplay rests atop the rhythmic backbone of Stimson and drummer Tim Hagen, leaving plenty of room for cellist Jacob McClendon’s smooth textures and Trevino and Harman’s rich, harmonious guitars, best heard on songs like “Twelve Months Older.”

The chemistry between Harman and Trevino is not only present in their performances, but in the songwriting process, as well. As the main songwriters of the group, they have “written through every season of their life,” Stevenson says. “They write about the good times and the bad times, the easy times and the carefree times. The songs we have as a band are very versatile. They don’t just have one theme, they come from all areas of life," she adds.

This versatility attracts an eclectic fan base comprised of friends, family and the occasional neighbor who overhears practice and is converted. With all of Duncan Fellows’ musical potential and a full-length album on the horizon, it is likely that this fan base will only continue to grow.

Duncan Fellows’ self-titled EP is available on iTunes, and they have a series of small shows coming up this spring. - Orange Magazine


Marrow - EP  - May 2015

Twelve Months Older - EP - September 2013



Duncan Fellows is a five member band from the heart of Austin, Texas. Their music is rowdy, dynamic and known for its driving beats, fluttering guitars, and rich harmonies. "Marrow" - their second EP - was released May 5th, 2015 and climbed to the third best-selling spot on the iTunes Alternative Music chart. Following the release of Marrow, the band played two hometown shows to sold-out crowds. 

Marrow was produced by Chris Jacobie (Penny & Sparrow), and recorded at Austin Signal Studios.

Band Members