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The Verlaines Share New Album 'Dunedin Spleen'

The Verlaines Share New Album 'Dunedin Spleen'

Monday 13th May, 2019 1:10PM

With high profile releases currently shining a spotlight on the hugely influential work of Dunedin music legends The Chills and Straitjacket Fits, it was only natural we'd see a return of some kind from Flying Nun Records trailblazers The Verlaines, but the last thing we expected was an entire album to materialise out of the Otago fog. Graham Downes is in stunningly fine voice on Dunedin Spleen, The Verlaines' tenth studio long-player and their first since 2012's Untimely Meditations. The new record showcases a whopping nineteen tracks of erudite lyricism and immaculately arranged guitar-pop material from the famously academically-informed artist, who is currently Senior Lecturer at the University of Otago's School of Performing Arts.

In a 2016 conversation with NZ Musician, Downes reflected on the associative qualities of Dunedin Spleen's title track. "Stand two or three metres north of Dundas Corner dairy, and look south, take a snapshot around 4:45 in late April… The people there are all oblivious of me… it’s a weird kind of being in the world, but not being the world, which is something which goes with getting old.

It’s also sentimental … ‘cause Shayne [Carter] and I were flatting at 772 Cumberland St and the photos for the Dunedin Double, and The Verlaines were us walking across the North Ground, so it’s kind of like a stocktake of the beginning that led to this. In writing the song I realised that, apart from various short periods, I’ve probably lived a square kilometre from the Dundas corner my entire creative life."

'Dunedin Spleen' is out now digitally and will also be available on vinyl. Follow The Verlaines' Bandcamp page here for up to date info.

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