‘Gone Soon’ is here now: Peterborough native puts out debut solo album

  • Duncan Pelletier, a Portland-based musician and Peterborough native, released his debut solo album, 'Gone Soon' on March 24, 2021. Photo by Kevin Depot—

  • Duncan Pelletier, a Portland-based musician and Peterborough native, released his debut solo album, 'Gone Soon' on March 24, 2021. Photo by Kevin Depot—

  • Duncan Pelletier, a Portland-based musician and Peterborough native, released his debut solo album, 'Gone Soon' on March 24, 2021. Photo by Kevin Depot—

  • Duncan Pelletier, a Portland-based musician and Peterborough native, released his debut solo album, 'Gone Soon' on March 24, 2021. Photo by Kevin Depot—

  • Duncan Pelletier, a Portland-based musician and Peterborough native, released his debut solo album, 'Gone Soon' on March 24, 2021. Photo by Kevin Depot

  • Duncan Pelletier, a Portland-based musician and Peterborough native, released his debut solo album, 'Gone Soon' on March 24, 2021. Photo by Kevin Depot—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/24/2021 4:39:32 PM

Duncan Pelletier will remember March 24, 2021, as the day he officially became a solo artist. With the release of “Gone Soon,” a collection of 10 tracks on his debut album, Pelletier, a Portland, Maine-based musician and Peterborough native, realized a moment that has been years in the making.

Pelletier has been writing and performing songs locally and regionally since his teenage years, but almost always with a collection of like-minded artists. The creative process for a solo album has been in the works for some time. Yet there was always another band to play with or group project to work on; solo work was always just on the back burner.

Then COVID-19 hit and like everyone else, Pelletier was stuck at home with a lot of free time on his hands – and no shows to speak of.

“That was when I was like ‘I might as well buckle down,’” he said.

So he sat in his apartment in Portland, Maine and started recording.

“That was the weirdest part,” Pelletier said of putting out an album essentially alone. “Obviously I’d rather be in a big room playing these songs. Nothing will ever replace being able to record in a room with your friends.” Although it helped get through the times of isolation with a project to work on, he said, “and it was a way to stay in touch with people.”

“And what this has opened up for me is to be OK doing things remotely. It’s a really cool way of collaborating that will happen more,” he said. “Because before the pandemic, it was just easier for people to be together.”

He would record files and then send off to Ned Rich, who Pelletier plays with in The Cut of Your Jib, a yacht rock cover band in the Portland-area. Rich served as producer and mixer for the album, usually the first to hear the raw tracks recorded by Pelletier. They would email new versions back and forth and soon enough it started to feel like an album.

“I don’t think it would have ever gotten done if I didn’t have a month of nothing,” he said.

From there Pelletier put it in the hands of Nyiko Beguin. The two have been friends since they were kids, with Pelletier growing up in Peterborough and Beguin in Hancock. Beguin owns Trailing Twelve Records, an independent record label based in Los Angeles, who has worked on other local projects with Party of the Sun and LNDNGS. 

While the album was officially ready last year, Beguin said it would be better to wait until the early part of 2021.

“If it had been me, I would have put it out in April and not told anyone,” Pelletier said.

The recording process and release of a new album is nothing new for Pelletier, but the spotlight squarely on him is.

“I’ve never really put anything out officially with just my name on it,” he said. “This is really the first real full scale album I’ve done.”

There’s a couple of older songs, that just fit the album thematically, Pelletier said, and a crop of newer songs, that once all put together is what Pelletier calls a bedroom album.

“I chose them all because they work well together,” he said.

While Pelletier takes care of most of it – vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, ukulele, bass, keyboards, percussion, drum programming – he did get a little help from his musically talented friends. Garrett Cameron, who he has worked extensively with through Gumboots and Party of the Sun, plays the saxophone on “Rolldown” and Chris Reilly, the bassist for Welcome to Florida, lends his finger plucking talents on “Take Me.” There are other guest appearances as well, while Rich also helped out with the drum programming.

“Really I would want everyone I know to be playing on it,” Pelletier said. “Collaboration is a big part of music and I missed that aspect of it.”

The recording process starts with the lyrics and guitar. From there he listens back to see what else it needs – keys, drum beat, and any other instrument that could enhance the sound.

“It’s a skeleton and you’re building it into a real person,” Pelletier said. “And sometimes the more you add, you realize the less you need.”

The approach to structure and use of lyrics has evolved over the years for Pelletier, and what he really wants is to create something that people will connect to. Describing it for Pelletier is a little easier by weeding out what it’s not.

“It’s not dancey or rocking, not mellow. It’s not rock, it’s not funk, not R&B or folk. I just try to make songs that are catchy,” he said.

He writes a lot about time, channeling Steve Miller Band (“time keeps on slippin’ ”) as an analogy.

“As I get older I write a lot about it,” Pelletier said. “The whole album is about trying to look at things that have happened to you, try to interpret and understand your part and whether it will make you change or not. How it’s shaped you.”

He always has a number of different songs in the works and “just writing songs helps you with other songs,” he said. The thing Pelletier likes about music is that it’s “so malleable.”

“There’s always ways that it can change and grow,” he said.

Check out “Gone Soon” and Pelletier’s other music at duncanpelletier.bandcamp.com.


Jobs



Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, your source for Peterborough area news.


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

20 Grove St.
Peterborough, NH 03458
603-924-7172

 

© 2020 Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy