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The best kept secret in music


Deloris begin their long awaited Fake Our Deaths album with a song called ‘the unbroke part of it’ that hinges dramatically around the line “this is how it’s to begin”. It’s mesmerising and addictive, the kind of sensitively muscular thing I’d almost forgotten about in the midst of frothing sweet Swedish Pop. This is music that works around the blueprints of Rock but that which doodles on those blueprints with layers of intriguing pathways which meander through urban streetscapes before opening suddenly on vistas overlooking bays of sparkling bluegreen sea or deserts of sun bleached stone and sand. It’s a Rock that believes in the value of literacy, a Rock that relishes the meaning and sound of words intricately bound and treasured. It’s a wordy Rock that never feels burdened by the weight of those words, and that’s a difficult feat to achieve.

Deloris make me think of many things, some of which are real and some of which aren’t, and that’s the beauty of the best Rock or the best Pop of course. So I want to listen to Deloris standing on an old harbour wall, face turned to the west feeling the ravaging sea pepper my skin with ice cold kisses. I want to listen to Deloris in the dead of night by the ruined castle, the scent of bluebells rising in the air and the thought of a face lost in too many years of forgotten histories ghosting around in my eyes. I want to hear Deloris coming out of the stereo when I’m sitting at the bus station in the early morning light, huddled in my broken leather jacket reading the early paper, imagining like I’m Phil Ochs. I want to hear Deloris enter my dreams of climbing mountains and gazing down on games on the village green, familiarly strange lips on mine kissing me awake to emptiness with the startled amazement of loves first gasp.

It’s about ordinary moments turned into the extraordinary. It’s about emotional attachment to place and time and the things that people our lives like passing Polaroids already fading in the light. It’s about making everything up as you go, about writing your own myths and legends, about drawing personal treasure maps with the keys and symbols kept hidden in your heart. It’s about simultaneously not giving away too much whilst pouring out your very soul.

This is how it’s to begin, indeed.


Deloris have mastered the art of subtlety - presenting songs that seem almost too clever. Too clever, I hear you say? U-huh, they're concerned with perfecting the art of recording, somehow explaining the fact that this is their third LP in twice as many years, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I'd go for the opposite - too often bands write some songs, record 'em in a fairly substandard way, and release them immediately, but here is a band that rewards good song-writing with the same amount of attention given to the recording of the tracks and an appropriate gestation period to let the tracks reach their full potential.

Layers built around inventive guitar playing unpack steadily amidst intriguing structures insidiously embedded amidst the veneer of repetition and a dead pan vocal delivery that is both endearing and discomforting. I know, it makes no sense. But it works - almost to perfection, counterpointing melodies held by these off-kilter vox and the repetitive guitar patterns are exemplified on the album's opener, The Unbroke Part Of It and just like the grammatical peculiarities of the track's title, the musical adeptness is similarly idiosyncratic - it's not traditionally accomplished but rather unfolds in its own paradigm of accomplishment. These aren't your usual introspective pop songs, and similarly their skill isn't comparable to more learned musicians, rather they create their own world to exist in and as a result forge a fairly unique space which is where 'Fake Our Deaths' exists.

So back to that subtlety - as its here that their distinctive style is mastered. Drones interrupted by an attention to tone and colour, the ability to introduce a range of instrumentation sparingly but effectively and a guitar style that shows an attentiveness to sound and a fixation on appropriating the soundscape to pop. And its lovely.

Along with the catchy-as-hell abovementioned opener, this interplay of an inventive use of instrumentation is illustrated nicely on other standout tracks 'Dead Drunks,' the lyrically moving 'Feather Figure' and the excessive guitar noodling of 'Cracked Atlas' - a track that highlights the similarities Deloris hold to their closest local contemporaries - Purplene. You see, Deloris don't really fit in with a contemporary musical context, and in an arena where guitar based music is getting more and more banal, more and more standardized and more and more background stylee their insistence on creating individuality through ingenuity can only be a good thing.

The new album from Melbourne’s own Deloris, Fake Our Deaths, is a stark, beautiful and vital Australian record for 2004.

Let’s get to the point. I’m sick of screwing around. How much music do you hear that just wastes your time, pissing about trying to convince you of one thing or another?

Deloris will not waste your time. Fake Our Deaths is a strong and honest record, filled with enough straightforward, clear and purposeful moments to act as a perfect balance to the band’s quite naturally introspective nature. Producer Matt Voigt (Dirty Three, Augie March, Cat Power) has managed to capture the band in all its unadorned simplicity, brevity and power.

I have seen the band play in the past, but until now hadn’t made myself familiar with their recorded output. Here’s what there is to like very much about Deloris: the music is taut, powerful and spare. No frills, if you like, but not without considered playing, even tenderness and the right amount of melodic accompaniment. As a result the emotional weight and rough edged beauty throughout Fake Our Deaths is so much more authentic, compelling and moving than much of the affected feeling that makes waves in a lot of indie music being made globally.

The press sheet accompanying the album talks about few settled or harmonious moments, but instead a sense of unravelling dissonant beauty, and this is spot on, though I would add this is not a difficult album by any means.

It’s in many ways a gentle album. There are moments of force, but the band avoid hammering the listener over the head, opting instead for an often acoustic musical skeleton that unwinds with sympathetic layers of guitars and rhythmic patterns slotting in at the most appropriate moments.

Vocalist Marcus Teague meanwhile, tells stories of keys found under ice and lightbulbs disappearing from towns overnight. Favouring an image rich lyrical style definitely helps Deloris raise the bar that much higher. Standouts are found in the muted love and regret of Feather Figure where Teague sings, “O dad how’d it get so bad, o let on, which of us went wrong, turned our street to black.” A song of secrets and a certain universal mystery, it’s almost cinematic in the effect it leaves on the listener.

Actually, the more I listen to this record, the more I realise how heartbreaking it is! But this is an exquisite sadness we need to at least accept if not embrace as an obligation to ourselves. You’re not alive if you don’t feel this way from time to time. In Playing The Spaces, Teague explains,

“Is anything more blue (than) the sky that frames your head or the ocean behind your shoes, can’t believe it’s true, the one thing that we thought we’d never lose has shot through.”

I think you’ll get Deloris or you won’t, and to a point, it sounds like the band would be perfectly happy with that. There’s not an awful lot more I think needs to be said about Fake Our Deaths. With this release, Deloris should hopefully put themselves on the map worldwide as an alluring and worthwhile musical prospect.
The lack of pretension, interesting story telling, mystery and honesty is what stands Deloris apart from the pack and makes them, perhaps naturally enough, distinctly Australian. Not unlike contempories, Augie March and Gersey, they are a worthy and welcome addition to our cultural body of work. Deloris, be proud. The rest of you: the album, now.

After innumerable delays, the Melbourne act have every right to be excited by the release of their third album; it's the most cohesive set from the indie-rockers yet. 'The Unbroke Part Of It' is immeiate, guitar passages bouncing off each other at will, with vocalist Marcus Teague delivering an upbeat vocal line that carries the song in its heady rush. While a few tunes have potentially interesting dynamics but simply drift past, it's the more urgent moments - with the guitars pointed and direct - that star. The stunning closer 'when the weather is warm' is typical of what to expect across the board. Fake our Deaths is a lush listen, peppered with hidden nooks of interesting sounds just waiting to be discovered. - Rolling Stone Magazine

As a limited, independent release, you're probably going to have trouble finding this EP (ask at Big Star though). It's going to have trouble standing out on the shelves too, sitting in a thin, but beautifully handcrafted card sleeve. Adding to that, it doesn't help that the Victorian quartet's label, Quietly Suburban, folded last year in the midst of recording their upcoming full length, 'Fake Our Deaths.' All of this is shame, because 'Playing The Spaces' is one heck of a recording.

There are only four tracks here but they're all corkers. The Unbroke Part Of It, along with the title track form a tasty sampler for the forthcoming album. Closing track A Long Weekend is a simple enough acousto-ballad, easily conjuring up a languid image or two. But standing out by far is the second track, May Your Last Day Be Your Best Day. It seemingly has it all: beautifully sparse verse, a crunchy guitar chorus, and great lyrics. If something this good is being left off of 'Fake Our Deaths' I can't wait to get my hands on to it.

Sounding not unlike Art Of Fighting or Augie March but with more straightforward, poppier arrangements, 'Playing The Spaces' is well worth your money, considering there's more gold here than you'll find on most full-length albums. - Db Magazine

*Album of the Week*

If you thought Madison Avenue was all Frankston had to offer musically, you'll be blown away by Deloris. The creation of this Frankston four piece's second album 'The Pointless Gift' has seen them traverse the continent, recording it in suburban Perth and releasing it through a Sydney label.

'The Pointless Gift' shows guitarist-singer Marcus Teague as a real songwriting talent, with every song a showcase of compelling lyrics and stick-in-the-brain melodies. But he can also push the traditional perimeters of 'songs' without ever becoming tedious, even though many are lengthy, creating instead a series of fantastic journeys.

At many points Deloris hark back to the delirious, dirty abrasions of New Zealand's Flying Nun bands; at other times, the way they gain so much power by stripping a song back to almost nothing - such as on the exquisite 'Creeping Jesus' - they remind me of the wonderful intense US band Slint. But there are many more highlights on 'The Pointless Gift', an assured, diverse, intoxicating piece of work that beckons to be played. A huge future awaits Deloris. - The Age

Probably one of the finest independent indie releases I've come across this year, Melbourne-based Deloris have developed a consistent and brilliant album: one that all indie lovers should not do without. Deloris display a wide variety of styles, from the guitar riff driven sounds of the opener 'Fond of Liners' and 'Killing Shoguns' to blissful instrumental start of'Creeping Jesus'. It is a wonder that they have been hidden for so long, Deloris stand out on par with indie contemporaries such as el Mopa, gersey and Canberra's The Rebel Astronauts. A top album, one that may be a little hard to find in shops but well worth the effort. -


The lead track from the mainly acoustic Elastic Bones opus, this also appears on the band's wonderful Fake Our Deaths album of last year. Whilst I'm a self-confessed sucker for indie melancholy, Feather Figure transcends such a lame description, and propels itself into the realm of enchantment. This is north-of-the-Yarra Melbourne, unpretentious, warm, welcoming and intimate. This is storytelling, a slow build and gentle release, poetic and ingratiating. For many, Deloris remain an undiscovered gem. And it's almost like you want to do everything you can to keep it that way. Almost. - Beat Magazine


Elastic Bones - Ep - 2005
Fake Our Deaths - Lp - 2004
The Pointless Gift - Lp - 2003 (UK Version)
The Pointless Gift - Lp - 2002
Fraulein - Lp - 2000

Dead Drunks Ep - 2004
Playing the Spaces Ep - 2003
The Point In The War Where We Knew We Were Lost - 7 inch 2002


Feeling a bit camera shy


Deloris are a 4 (sometimes 5) piece band from Melbourne, Australia who formed in 1999, and tour Australia regularly. The band have to date released three albums and three ep’s, including 2003's 'The Pointless Gift' which was released throughout Europe, and are currently signed to Dot Dash/Remote Control Records.

Singer/songwriter Marcus Teague was recently described as one of Australia's best emerging songwriters. Employing narrative devices to weave tales throughout electric and epic indie rock, Deloris mingle with the instrumentation and influence of bands such as Modest Mouse, Neutral Milk Hotel, Archers of Loaf and The Arcade Fire.

Deloris have spent most of 2005 and early 2006, writing and recording their fourth album in a serene hillside studio at Harkaway Victoria. The new album marks a change for the band with the direction moving towards the more frantic rock sound of previous songs such as ‘Fond Of Liners’ and ‘The Unbroke Part Of It’, and away from the ‘quieter’ moments on previous releases. The mid-2005 release of the 7-track ‘Elastic Bones’ acoustic ep, which was single of the week on national radio as well as in local press, serves as a cap on that period.

In September 2005 Deloris embarked on a near sold out Australian tour alongside US band Okkervil River and with local support Subaudible Hum. During the year the band travelled thoughout Australia on their own tour, as well as supporting Scotland’s the Delgados, and local’s such as Augie March, Purplene, The Devastations, Wolf & Cub and New Buffalo.

The band has been featured recently in Rolling Stone, IDN, Mess and Noise and in the 'Australian Maestros' photoshoot in Triple J’s Jmag.

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