Harsh, dark, and vulnerable, “Til It’s Gone,” by The Duke of Randwick sweeps the listener into a story about holding on. It’s a song about clinging to the things you know even when you know they will hurt you – about holding on, and on, and on, until it finally runs out. Surrounded by rusty strings and swinging beats, it’s something my dad would listen to in his truck on a hot summer day – and I mean that in the best way.
I wake up another thorn in my crown/I’ll take whatever I can get down/I’ll make up enough to keep you around/Don’t you leave me here to drown.
I find the lyrical aspects of the song particularly interesting – it has a circular effect, on par with the theme of falling back into old patterns. Everything about this section holds a sort of familiarity, a knowledge that whatever is happening is doomed to happen again. The narrator wakes up with another thorn in their crown. The line, “I’ll make up enough to keep you around,” holds a toxic familiarity – it’s a casual confession that can only suggest long-term patterns of behavior. This theme of vicious cycles is reinforced in the following lines:
I get the game, I played my part/ Either we’re falling in or we’re falling apart/Keep on going round in circles/I don’t know where to start.
In this section, the vocal effects mirror the lyrics, sliding into repetitive chord patterns. This artistic decision aligns nicely with the lyric, “keep on going in circles,” which directly acknowledges the cyclic nature of both the song and the narrator’s experience. In this way, it almost seems like the song is having a conversation with itself.
I don’t even need it, but how can I leave it?/I live and I breathe it.
The drums hurtle into action here, following the same strategy of repetition. The beats slam into a fast, repeating pattern just before the chorus, and then the instrumentals surge back over the vocals. The chorus flexes passionate guitar, echoing roars, and a delightfully vintage feel. Following the musical break, the lyrics take on a darker twist:
I can’t go back/I’m in a hole in the ground/I know that the sun ain’t coming around/My world black, I’m lost and can never be found/Don’t you leave me here to drown.
What I love about this section is that it takes the narrative forward while still holding on to its thematic structure. The first four lines suggest the breaking of a pattern – the narrator “can’t go back,” and struggles with the life they must build outside of their old patterns. Yet the last line is a direct repeat from the first verse – meaning that even as the narrator struggles to break free from the old patterns, they continue to fall back on them. It seems like the narrator is begging for their toxic partner to hold onto them, to grant permission for both of them to continue using each other up until they run out.
As mentioned above, there are moments where the whole song seems to submit to old patterns, both in its lyrics and instrumental structure. But in other moments, particularly toward the end, the instrumental elements of the song seem to push back, strain, and argue with the lyrics – a nuanced but effective dynamic that deserves appreciation. With its carefully crafted lyrics and coarse vocals, The Duke of Randwick’s April release “Til It’s Gone” is full of loss and complexity. It’s both a song about holding on, and a song to hold onto.
Hey, Quick Sponsored Thing: PR Service to Get Your Music Featured in Blogs & Spotify Playlists
Our friends at Omari are really good at helping artists get heard and listed in cool indie blogs and playlists. They've worked with big acts (Judah & the Lion) and bedroom artists alike (which is feasible cuz service starts at $77). Anyway, take a look. Disclaimers: it's an affiliate link, and yeah, they're good.
If you're tired of pitching your music yourself, if you finally want to find your audience, or if you just like us, click here to learn more.