Duncan Sheik – Duncan Sheik (1996)


Duncan Sheik (born November 18, 1969) is an American singer-songwriter and composer. Initially finding success as a singer, most notably for his 1996 debut single “Barely Breathing“, he later expanded to compositions for motion pictures and the Broadway stage, such as the successful musical, Spring Awakening, where he won multiple Tonys and a Grammy.
Duncan Sheik is his self-titled debut, it was released on Atlantic Records in 1996.
Duncan Sheik‘s debut album will undoubtedly go down in history as the vehicle that transported the pop/rock hit “Barely Breathing.” That’s fine, but this record has so much more to offer. As a songwriter, Sheik crafts richly melodic and thoughtful songs that seep into your consciousness with the greatest of ease. And producer Rupert Hine brings them to life in exquisite fashion, complete with full orchestral strings that add a lush, ethereal quality matching Sheik‘s own vocal style. Although the songs seem to be very personal, intimate stories lifted from his life, you will find pieces of yourself in most of them. Rest assured, different songs will make their way onto various mix tapes, depending on the mood. For a mellow groove, go with “She Runs Away” and “Out of Order.” Need a haunting yet earnest blend? Try “Reasons for Living,” “Little Hands,” and “November.” You might think you accidentally recorded Jeff Buckley, but Sheik is a bit smoother around the edges. Then you have the ultra-romantic mix with “Days Go By” and “Home.” If needed, follow that with “In the Absence of the Sun,” “Barely Breathing,” and “Serena” for the walk-away-and-don’t-look-back power combo. Something for everybody and a great record all around.


  1. She Runs Away” – 3:43
  2. “In the Absence of Sun” – 5:05
  3. Barely Breathing” – 4:15
  4. Reasons for Living” – 4:31
  5. “Days Go By” – 4:48
  6. “Serena” – 4:43  (Fran Banish, Sheik)
  7. “Out of Order” – 4:30
  8. “November” – 4:56
  9. “Home” – 4:48
  10. “The End of Outside” – 4:45
  11. “Little Hands” – 6:04  (Banish, Sheik)

All songs written by Duncan Sheik, except where noted.


  • Duncan Sheik: Lead Vocals (all tracks), Harmony Vocals (tracks 1,2,3,6,10), Acoustic Guitar (tracks 1,3,5,7,8,10,11), Electric Guitar (tracks 1,3,6,7,10), 12-String Guitar (track 6), Nylon String Guitar (track 9), Ebow (track 3), Keyboards (tracks 4,11), Piano (tracks 3,4,7), Organ (tracks 6,8), Sampling (track 3), Drums (track 10), Percussion (track 10), Drum Programming (tracks 4,5,6,9,10), Accordion (track 9)
  • Fran Banish: Electric Lead Guitar (tracks 1,6,9,10), Slide Guitar (tracks 1,3)
  • Howard Jones: Outro Piano on “Reasons For Living”
  • Rupert Hine: Percussion (tracks 1,3,6), Backing Vocals (tracks 3,10), Keyboards (track 9)
  • Milo DeCruz (tracks 6,10), Pino Palladino (tracks 1,2,3,7): Bass Guitar
  • Joseph Robinson: Drums (tracks 1,2,3,6,7)
  • Strings by The London Session Orchestra; led by Gavyn Wright; directed by Minnie Matt & Gavyn Wright. Arranged & Conducted by Simon Hale (tracks 1,2,5,8,10)
  • Ruadhri Cushnan: Infinite Reverbs on “Home”
  • Ruadhri Cushnan, Stephen W. Tayler, Cyrille de Smet: Recording Engineers
  • Stephen W. Tayler: Mixing
  • Tony Cousins: Mastering
  • Julian Broad: Photography
  • Richard Bates: Art Direction
  • Allen Hori: Design
  • Producer – Rupert Hine

Released: June 1996
Recorded: Prêcy-sur-Oise, France, Metropolis Studios, London, England
Genre: Rock, Pop, Alternative
Length: 52:08

Label – Atlantic Records

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