Album number nine in the 30-year career of The Verlaines,Untimely Meditations (April 2012) sees singer-guitarist Graeme Downes proving yet again his position as one of New Zealand’s finest songwriters.
Recorded at Albany Street Studios, Dunedin over a period of 18 months on and off, Downes assembled his core live band (Tom Healy – guitar, Darren Steadman – drums, Stephen Small –keyboards, Rob Burns – bass) along with an assortment of guest musicians to produce 10 songs that show a keen ear for a pop tune, but are not afraid to challenge.
Lyrically and musically inventive, Untimely Meditations is expansive both in sound and style as Downes orchestrates and deftly crafts post-punk, classically influenced compositions, satire and a touch of cabaret. Combined with subtle humour and Downes’ drawl, these ‘meditations’ are stories that explore the personal, the political and social. All of which are held up for further examination, from the scathing opener “Born Again Idiot”, the bite of “Pets” through to the final spoken-word of “What Sound is This?”
Untimely Meditations is a sound that is captivating, clever, funny and pulls no punches.
1. Born Again Idiot
2. Dark Riff
3. Diamonds and Paracetamol
4. Beauty is Truth
6. James, Jimmy, Nuisance, Hemi
7. On The Patches
8. A Call From Decades Past
9. Last Will And Testament
10. What Sound Is This?