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New library ‘Wellington’ music releases on CD: Damien Wilkins, literary indie-rock & The Close Readers

Every month, Wellington City Libraries acquires new CD’s for its large, broad, eclectic collection, and Wellington music is no exception. We regularly inspect local music websites, trawl music vendors latest releases and check out independent labels like Flying Nun, Arch Hill, Rattle and Lil’ Chief for the latest in Wellington and New Zealand music. So, with this influx of mint music in mind, every two months we’ll provide the latest titles and artists added to our Wellington music collection…

Cover imageThe lines are open / The Close Readers.
Formed in 2010, this band records the songs of New Zealand fiction writer Damien Wilkins. Wilkins had been involved in music long before his career as a writer bloomed, becoming a fan of the early 80s Wellington punk scene he played in a group called ‘The Jonahs’ whose claim to fame was a well received EP and an opening gig for The Chills. Twenty plus years later Wilkins again began to feel the pull of music. Fooling around with a laptop he tried merging some spoken word reading of his own stories over soundscapes he’d created. This led on to a bit of experimental singing & liking the result he began acquiring some music making gear. Old band-mates & new friends lent a hand and the result was his first new foray into music, with The Close Readers album ‘Group Hug’, which NZ Musician praised as indie-release of the year. Third full album ‘The Lines are open’ which features Luka Buda on guitars, sets a Bill Manhire poem to music, features a couple of songs about novelists, and is full of angular guitar lines & catchy songs. Literary influences abound, but also the early 80s jangle-pop Athens sound of ‘R.E.M’ & ‘The DBs’.

For a more in depth look at Damien’s move from writing to music this Dominion post article is worth checking out…

Also some of his early music memories & liner notes for earlier Close Readers albums can be found here.

Check out ‘Doctoring’, which Damien thinks was the best track on this early EP:
A breakthrough song on the EP, for me at least is called ‘Doctoring’ which I still don’t mind. It has my best vocal performance, some of the band’s loveliest playing, and an urgency of feeling which took us by surprise…

You can buy a copy of the Close Readers latest CD here.

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