Dearly Departed

by Bannerman

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Bannerman features the songwriting of Richard Setford, whose work is diversely affecting, slightly unhinged, fragile and quietly dramatic. The Bannerman world is a place of imagination and cinematic ambition. Think wind swept battlefields, detached murderers, nostalgic lovers, natural disasters and the shadow of time. All these themes and images are at play on his new album Dearly Departed.

The album follows hot on the heels of 2010’s debut, The Dusty Dream Hole, which was nominated for a Tui (best cover art) and a Silver Scroll (She Was A Mountainside), and is in many ways this album’s sequel. Let’s recap - over an intensive three days in 2008, Richie and Ruby Suns drummer Alistair Deverick went into Auckland’s Lab Studios and laid down 26 songs that were originally intended for a double album. It soon became clear that he had bitten off more than he could chew and with time and money against him only 14 tracks were released.

And so now, Bannerman unveils those final songs as the album Dearly Departed. It is at turns, both thrilling and restrained. Be prepared for quiet corners of folk, jaunty alt country, some serious guitar brutality and hope-filled pop torch-songs. The scope of the material is broad and all the better for it. It’s music that lasts.

Overdubbing for the album was tackled at Two Pot Mix Studios in Mt Albert. The process took 8 days, split between two hurried bursts of concentrated creativity in February and June, with Richie putting down everything except horns and strings. Then it was back to The Lab in September for mixing and mastering with 2011 Tui award winner Olly Harmer. The concept of a sequel is further strengthened by Angela Keoghan’s beautiful illustrations, which grace the cover once again.


released October 31, 2011



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Bannerman Berlin, Germany

Bannerman Richie Setford, Ben Anderson, Erez Frank, Magnus Bang-Olsen and Oliver Emmitt.

The music has a compelling and dynamic structure; they can be quietly dramatic, sweeping, disarming and melancholic. A sweet + sad undercurrent with enough groove to get your sway on.

They've supported Tiny Ruins, The Magic Numbers, Shovels & Rope, Anais Mitchell + Lawrence Arabia. New material in 2016.
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Track Name: The Howling Wind
There’s a howling wind
Coming off the oily bay
And the rot has settled on skin
Of the men who come to toil
So Glorious
See the rise of columns and swords
Bring the fire we’ll crush the Gods
In the bloodless eyes we hire
To destroy and to inspire
Will the echoes die?

And here on the banks of freedom
We lie where we fall
We touch and recoil
Like lovers in times of war
And when it’s done
We’ll recline in the soil
We’ll be blind forever more.

There’s a howling wind
Sweeping out the desert graves
All the farmers gather your kin
You’ve got hungry souls to save
We’ve got lions laws
Cross the Rhine and into the claws
Every child believes the Lord
Will our family’s home be razed?
Will the gremlin’s grin be broad?
Or will we all be saved?

And here on the banks of freedom
We lie where we fall
We touch and recoil
Like lovers in times of war
And when it’s over
We’ll be drunk
We’ll be tired
We’ll be old
We’ll be tried and hung.
Track Name: Brother With The Bleeding Heart
I’m sick and tired of you beating your chest
You know best, oh but you know best
I want to feed you to the beast in the wall
But he won’t come calling, no he won’t come at all no
I’m in a box under the coroner’s knife
The blades dance freely likes it’s opening night
And the only thing keeping him from cutting me up
Is that I want you too much.

Hey brother with the bleeding heart
You said I won’t bit hard, no I won’t bite hard
You remind me of a horrible dream
With a recurring theme that just occurred to me
We’re out walking by the railroad track
I go and hack off your head and then I jump on your back
And the only thing keeping me from cutting you up
Is that I want you too much.

I’m sick and tired of you beating your chest
We’re going east and west, oh we’re east and west
Beneath the belly of the beast in the wall
There’s something crawling, something crawled in
Breathe through your mouth, it’s a terrible stench
Hold the flashlight steady ‘cause I’m starting to wretch
And the only thing keeping me from bringing it up
Is that I want you too much.
Track Name: The Year That Has Gone
Oh the year that has gone leaves me beaten
Like an ill, ageing miner who blinks at the sun
And the cold wind has come
It seems too early
Now the ghosts have all left me but their sound lingers on

Offer me something more
There is a humming just behind the door
How long’s this light been on for?

Oh the year that’s begun leaves me empty
There’s a dull repetition to all that’s to come
And the fact we’re still young
Seems a blessing
But whenever we mention it, the fact makes us numb

Oh the year that’s to come greets me sweetly
But its eyes make me nervous
There’s death on its tongue
And the only thing wrong is that I’m trembling
Tell me, how do you face a year with no armour on?

Well do you know how far we’ve come?
Look, there’s an opening lit by the sun
How long’s this light been on for?
Track Name: Take Time
Be the man
Break the mould
Before the hate gets a hold
You’re afraid
But that’s just what everybody feels
From time to time
There’s an old wicked wind outside
Moaning and calling you

Take time for your daughter
Make time for your son
Come on round whenever you’re lonely
Time ain’t nothing but shadows on the run
From the sun

On you get
There’s the door
Walk out of the bush down to the shore
Oh the sea
Man it’s a big old world of possibility
Think of all the bodies floating out there
Moaning and calling you

Some shadows are long and lonely
And it’s alright to hide away.
Track Name: There Rose A Flood
Come ashore
You’re too far out
Just move your arms about
Breathe in
It’s just that easy
Show me some heart girl
If you can, try doing it without me
I’d let you drown
If I thought that would help you to live

There rose a flood
Around your house
I’ll bring you sand
I’ll bring you sun
This time

All day it rained
All night you died
I’ll bring the oars
I’ll get you out
This time

Nobody but you is bringing this water
Buried in deep wells for twenty odd years

Don’t look behind
You can never come back down here again

New land
Our clothes lie there
Drying in the wind
A quiet light
Has got you mesmerized
You’re a stranger to life child
If you can, try moving your arms about.
Track Name: Rocks Are Just Lonely Hearts
You’ve got a way of doing things
That makes me keep coming back to your door
I’m out losing but I come home again and again
You’ve got a way of talking
That’s kind of confusing but I’m all ears
You knock me over but I get up again and again
Yeah I get up and I listen again.

Walls of brick and mortar
I’ll wear the stone down slowly
‘Cause rocks don’t make any friends
So let’s not throw them again
‘Cause rocks are just lonely hearts

You’ve got a way of living
That I can see is the future for me and us
And I believe that I’ll start the winning again
You’ve got a way of loving
That aches and cradles, rages and cries
Well it’s an endless ride
I lose you but I love you again
Yeah I lose you but I love you again.

Well we’ve been down before but you’re still my special one.
Track Name: Machines
I rented the house
Somewhere to play
To write on the walls and wile away
All for the love
Not for the gain
But just for myself

You stopped at my door
Wanting to stay
Just to get warm, a couple of days
Not for the love
Not for the gain
But just for yourself

We’re like machines
And just like machines
We’re run to the ground
And sorry doesn’t explain

We ate by the fire
And talked over tea
Both of us liars, but happy to be
In I was you
And in you were me
And that seemed to help

We’re like machines
And just like machines
We keep breaking down
And sorry doesn’t explain
And it doesn’t matter anyway

We’re not the young ones to save
We’re much too afraid
And we like it here today.
Track Name: I Was Only Having Some Fun
I was compelled to trouble your soul in the onrushing grey
I was only having some fun
Can’t you tell it’s a part that I play very well?
If I do say myself (and I do).

We’ve been here before
When this love was unsure
Sometimes I’m hungry
And you just look at me like we’re done

Do you remember the stones we put in the yard?
We’ll you were that hard
And I was only having some fun
I couldn’t tell at the time I was losing my girl
While gaining my mind.

You said I was a joke
That I couldn’t cope
Well I’ve grown hungry
I’m gonna take all the good I’ve done and just get going.
Track Name: My Private Grief
Blow out your candles darling, it’s your year
All the lovers you have known are here
So grab a glass and drink the hard stuff
Let the spirits rile your soul

On this night our ghosts court trouble in the chill
And my crippled past flies out with every swill
I’ve been out there kissing strangers
And sleeping through my private grief

Then I came home
And all the secrets killed me
Slowly I died alone

I’m not a pillar, I’ve got no stability
Once a killer grabbed my hand and entered me
Please just hold me and stop the bleeding
I’ve been meaning to sit and talk

You are wilder
More than anyone I know
And together we are wilder
When we just let go.