Much-loved Melbourne guitar slingers Dick Diver return with second album Calendar Days, the follow-up to 2011 debut New Start Again.
Previously known for their scratchy, dueling guitars and laconic delivery, Dick Diver throw a few curveballs on Calendar Days. The first sound you hear on the record is the tick of a drum machine, and there are keyboards, saxophones, pedal steel and piano throughout.
It’s also a much more collaborative affair than its predecessor. The first album was primarily written by guitarists Ru Edwards and Al McKay, with a contribution each from bassist Al Montfort (Total Control, UV Race, Lower Plenty) and drummer Stephanie Hughes (Boomgates).
But the vibe on Calendar Days is engagingly communal. The two Als trade verses on punchy first single Alice, while Steph sings most of the Ru-penned title track and shares vocal duties on expansive second single Water Damage. Al Mc and Ru square off on Lime Green Shirt, while Al Mc and Steph share a resigned duet on one-take ballad Two Year Lease.
Calendar Days is the sound of a band growing up, and opening up. There‘s a beguiling, inquisitive eccentricity that runs throughout, combined with a non-flag-wearing but still iconic Australian-ness, which makes for something of a modern classic.
The album was recorded, like its predecessor, by Mikey Young (of Total Control and Eddy Current Suppression Ring), this time at a beach house on Phillip Island in winter 2012.
Word about the band is also spreading outside Australian borders. In 2013, Dick Diver shared a vinyl single with buddies Lower Plenty (featuring bassist Al Montfort) as part of Matador Records’ singles club series.