Havens Dumb is out now.
Deep thanks to everyone involved in the making of the album, and everyone involved in the listening too. We hope it repays your faith and patience.
It's available to order on 2LP vinyl and softpak CD. It's also available on iTunes right now, including a Deluxe Version; details are below.
Hope you enjoy Havens Dumb,
- The Good Gardener
The CD comes with a Limited Edition print of a song lyric handwritten by Glenn.
The vinyl is 2 x LP gatefold sleeve and includes a digital download of the album.
Order the digital Standard Version via iTunes.
There’s also a Deluxe Version on iTunes, which has three extra tracks.
After the band went ‘on hiatus’ in 2009, Glenn Richards opted to move from Melbourne to Hobart seeking lower rent and the chance to develop a working studio. This he did, building a soundproof bunker out of a small cave carved out of the wall of an underground garage in Goulburn Street, West Hobart. He began to write and demo songs for something, anything, next.
Inside of a year he’d been given the choice by his negatively-geared landlord to either eliminate the abandoned sibling kittens now in his care or be evicted. In his new rental lodging further up the mountain there was a large garden and a bungalow, which was duly converted to a more ambitious studio and sometimes speakeasy.
Communication amongst Glenn, Adam, Edmondo, Dave and Kiernan flickered to life. The idea of a new album was floated, one made in their own time, under their own steam; an album that was just made until it was made.
Within a year, despite two different wrists, one broken and one wrenched from its preferred location, and the perpetual problem of just getting together, Augie March began putting basic tracks down in the glow of the news they were finally, blessedly, independent once more.
In dribs and drabs over months and eventually over a year drums and bass were laid down at two different Melbourne studios. Vocals and assorted overdubs were then completed in Hobart, Brunswick and Yarraville by individual band members.
Of thirty-odd tracks, the list was refined to a smaller number. 14 tracks made the final cut.
The album is mixed beautifully by old friend and engineer illuminati Paul McKercher.
Its themes are various, but times passing, loss, dislocation, distance, new hope and healthy anger are coals in its fire. It contains elements of each release that has gone before and will be cherished by those who have kept faith with this rare outfit.
The album is Havens Dumb.
- The Good Gardener
There’s been some nice things said about the shows, and about Havens Dumb. Below are some of them. Thanks to all who came along to the shows or have listened to the new album.
“...their long-awaited return to the stage, better than ever. These songs, new and old, have a power, undiminished neither by absence nor nascence. Any quantifiable success, past or future, is arbitrary. Augie March are important, plain and simple. It’s very good to have them back.”
- Lachlan Kanoniuk, review of Howler show, faster louder
“Augie March have regularly been heralded as one of Australia’s “greatest” or “finest” outfits, although one that has forever eluded categorisation. Richards’ breathtaking prose collides with labyrinthine arrangements, songs that expertly sweep the listener up in a rollicking cacophony then drop them back down into fragile moments of sweet pop bliss.”
- Michaela McGuire, The Saturday Paper
“Any routine examination of Australia’s greatest ever bands will find Augie March right up there.”
- Neil Rogers, RRR.
“the band who was almost entirely without peer during its height, and singularly without imitation in its absence. a welcome return to form and a superb return to our gig guides by one of Australia’s pre-eminent musical forces."
- Ben Connolly, Life Music Media
“Havens Dumb may well be remembered as the best and most cohesive record of Augie March’s later period. But even beyond that, the record will cement Glenn Richards’ status as one of the greatest and most unique lyricists Australia is ever likely to see."
- Kill Your Darlings, Literary blog
“Havens Dumb feels refreshed and energised: the strength of the melodies, the poetic sweep of the lyrics, the depth of the writing...my first impulse after playing it top to tail has been to put it on again. Augie March gives hope that intelligent life in the world of popular music can, if not flourish, at least keep springing up between the cracks.”
- Noel Mengel, The Daily Telegraph
“Expectation is a burden that follows any elite outfit that have a proven catalogue of gems. It’s this price of genius that brings out the nerves in some and the anticipation in others when word of a new release hits. Augie March fills that rarefied air with their fifth album Havens Dumb; a vintage effort that is the band’s first collection of songs in six years, making expectations even harder to overlook. It’s not unfair to ask whether Augie March still have something to say after such a significant hiatus...but it’s with a healthy dose of relief that I say, yes they do.”
“Aah. Lucky Country or what?”
- Michael Dwyer, Rolling Stone
We've made a video with brilliant old mate Ben Saunders for 'Never Been Sad'. Thanks to the children of Jan Juc.
The third song to be released from Havens Dumb, “A Dog Starved” was a track that arrived late in the recording process:
“Blake, Manley Hopkins and Dylan Thomas all vie for the pedant’s ear in this power pop excursion, not to mention Big Star, XTC and maybe more recently, via XTC, Field Music. For all that heavyweight arty dick swinging it was from a dearth of brawn and a surplus of brain in evidence at what I’d mistakenly thought was the end of the project that “A Dog...” came, tail wagging. It became hurtfully clear that it was for me to go back into the pit and swing a little harder at the face, maybe even shirt off this time, do the shale dance into the hard rock. I wielded my brother’s old red hollow Silvertone and got some nice tones. Four days of basic tracking later we had four new songs, including this one." - Glenn Richards
"A Dog Starved" is available via iTunes.