Bird Noises

1 August 2012 | 2:53 pm | Sam Hobson

We’ve just been out of it; we haven’t really kicked it into gear

A thick blanket of quiet has cloaked the last year of Brisbane experimental pop band Oh Ye Denver Birds' existence. The quartet some time ago quite literally disappeared, promising fans that on their triumphant return, they'd come carrying on elated shoulders their debut album. And, while the band certainly delivered the latter part of that promise, what emerged at the other end, and pointedly without any of that fanfare, was a band thoroughly exhausted. So much so, in fact, that Oh Ye Denver Birds decided to just stay quiet.

Released back in April of this year, the band's debut album Good Ivy is, unsurprisingly, a monumental work. And the band knows that, and they're very much proud of the album they've created. But they've still not yet arranged a tour in support of it. Hell, they've not even played half of its songs live before.

“Man, we've pretty much done nothing all year,” Josh Spencer laments sheepishly. “I think our first shows back were with Jonathan Boulet a few weeks ago, and the only reason we did those was because we were friends with Jono, and it was just another chance to hang out.

“Prior to that... well, actually, that was all we've really done of live shows for the whole year, isn't it? We've just been out of it; we haven't really kicked it into gear.”

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Upon its release, the news of their hard work came not from the rooftops, nor bellowing lungs, but instead through iTunes, coupled with a few meagre tweets. Their Facebook page was left like a ghost ship; a cold, tuneless wind whistling over its long-shadows; frozen-up 'like' buttons time-encrusted, untouched. All that exhaustion and effort for a whimper of an announcement.

But, lucky for them, an album launches when a band says it does, and, until now, the group have simply not felt 'ready.' “After the album, I was just over it,” Spencer recalls. “And everyone else definitely wanted a break. We went on hiatus for a bit, and that was really nice. But now we're excited to get back into it, and we really miss playing shows. We haven't even played a lot of the songs on the album live; we've not properly shared them.”

Good Ivy's production is a monumental part of how the band's creative vision has been showcased, and it's complicated their already dense sound considerably. Spencer assures, however, that recreating that new benchmark live is something the band haven't thought twice about. “We're used to putting on a big show with lots of layers,” he assures. “We're used to pulling off a big sound pretty easily.”

In fact, Spencer suggests that the band are much more at home in the unpolished, raw setting of a live show. That's where their sound was first conceived, he intimates, and that's where they know it the best. “It's weird,” he agrees, “because the studio recording, it was [in] a really good studio, and we weren't used to [that]. It was so clean and perfect, it was very different to us, we'd only done before that very 'home recording' stuff.”

Still, their upcoming show at Coniston Lane isn't the start of their new album's tour. The latter, Spencer says, careful not to overpromise just yet, is tentatively planned for September, but even still, he stresses, nothing's certain; there's no physical commitment. But this weekend won't just be a practice-run; an oiling of old joints. It'll be a chance for the great band to reconnect, to let people know, this time, what's on its way. It'll be a homecoming.