Released in 2006, this follow up to 2003’s Hot Looks for Summer saw the bands core members (consisting of Jeff Sparks, Jason Bays and Rob Taylor) returning to a newly updated-and-relocated Garage Majal studio in a basement storage facility off of Santa Barbara’s state street. With engineer/producer Craig Costigan manning the board once more and new drummer Mike Vazquez taking over for the departing Randy Guss (once again touring with Toad the Wet Sprocket,) the band decide to test the waters by recording an (as-yet-unreleased) ep of cover songs, tentatively titled Galaxy of Love. Happy with the results, the band launched into sessions for what would become Soft Focus.
On Soft Focus, Duplex continues its blend of classic and indie rock influences: “The Shade” combines equal parts Velvet Underground and Guided by Voices, while “If We Get Lost” suggests an unlikely collaboration between Harry Nilsson and Weezer. And in terms of attitude, the spirit of Neil Young’s Crazy Horse seems to hover over the whole record. “I Dreamt I Stole North Dakota” and “More,” owe their extended arrangements to the band’s live shows during this period, giving lead guitarist Taylor more room than ever to improvise. To round out the album, one song from the Galaxy of Love sessions was included—a cover of the Cure’s “In Between Days.”
Since the release of Soft Focus, the members of Duplex have continued to record their own projects with Costigan at Garage Majal. Bays with the Spires, Taylor with Cat OK, and Sparks with the White Fires of Venus. But stay tuned—plans are underway to re-release Duplex, the first duplex CD, later in 2009.