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.
“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
“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.”
2. After The Crack Up
3. Bastard Time
4. A Dog Starved
5. Hobart Obit
6. Father Jack And Mr. T
7. St. Helena
8. The Faking Boy
9. Definitive History
10. Villa Adriana
11. Millenarians’ Mirror
12. Sailing To The Moon
13. Never Been Sad
14. The Crime
iTunes Bonus Tracks:
15. Forking Paths
16. Arthur's Chessboard