By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
There's little doubting the pop sensibilities of Dallas native Luis Dubuc and his electro-pop project The Secret Handshake. Already a longtime Alternative Press darling, Dubuc's most recent, third full-length release, 2009's My Name Up In Lights, showed the artist proving himself even more adept at penning catchy little pop ditties. And, sure, while the disc was something of a commercial disappointment for Dubuc, it was a placement boon; tracks from the disc popped up as the background tunes on a variety of MTV programs.
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So maybe it's a little surprising that for his next record, Dubuc's changing up the formula: Goodbye, electro-pop; hello Motown revival. He's certainly not the first to embrace the long-revered Detroit sound—Raphael Saadiq and, more recently, newcomers Mayer Hawthorne and Janelle Monae have already beaten him to the punch—but Dubuc seems quite capable of similarly pulling off the sound: Certain My Name Up In Lights tracks unashamedly showed Dubuc's bubbling-under affinity for '70s and '80s R&B.
In August, his new disc (entitled Night and Day) will officially see the light of day. Early listens reveal the album as a loving tribute—and with just enough brattiness to retain his mall-punk listenership. This tour, which finds Dubuc and his band sharing the stage with a variety of teen-targeting rock acts, should serve as a good litmus test of the new sound's marketability, as Dubuc plans on performing his new material and little else.
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