Known for their perpetual evolution and need to push their musical boundaries with each new release over their ten-year career, in a mammoth exercise Dead Letter Circus decided to take the challenge to a new level and re-write some of their most popular songs.
The result is ‘Reimagined’, a 12-track LP that spins some of the band’s most loved tracks on their head and presents new ways to interact with them. “There’s some pretty out there tracks on it,” frontman Kim Benzie says, who is currently in the studio working the final stages of mixing the new album.
“It was a bigger task than I originally thought it would be… once we started I had to think about what the song meant to me, and to the audience, and thought, 'wow, how do we go about this?'”
Some tracks were re-written several times; for example, there were four versions of the favourite ‘Alien’ written before coming to the final incarnation selected for the album. “It sounds funny saying ‘the first time I wrote this song',” laughs Kim, who reflects on the interesting exercise of revisiting songs written several years ago, and his change of perspective since writing them.
“With 'Alien', for example, I wrote it from the perspective of not quite knowing what it was like to find that person you could truly be yourself with.
"Now as an adult and knowing how that feels, it was hard to find the inversion of that, so I imagined in the future someone whose partner dies, and reflecting on that. It was pretty intense. It came out really goose-bumpy.
“[Then] there’s some fun ones on there too, like ‘Are We Closer’. Hopefully people are going to love it.”
Kim shares his excitement for sharing these new versions of the songs on tour. “I’m excited that the album is coming out a month after the tour, so it will be brand new for the audience. It will sort of be like ‘guess the song’.”
And audiences can expect a slightly different show to what they’d normally get from DLC. “It will be less about the moshpit and more about the poetry of the songs… we’re hoping people will get dressed up for it too. Get a bit spiffy.”
Kim’s lyrics are recognised for their social consciousness and political activism. The current political climate seems timely for these songs to get more airtime. “These songs are written in the first person. It’s not like you’re on a podium. I’d rather it be a sign post for people.
“I don’t want to slam the political stuff down people’s throats. Ultimately… I’d love people to be reading or listening to the lyrics and recognise something they felt in that regard.
“The slow-burning revolution that’s happening around the world at the moment is starting to come together. Things are getting shaken up at the moment. It’s a boiling pot for change. It’s an amazing time to be alive.”
Dead Letter Circus ShowsThu 2 Mar - New Globe Theatre (Brisbane)
Fri 3 Mar - The Factory Theatre (Sydney)
Sat 4 Mar - Cambridge Hotel (Newcastle)
Fri 10 Mar - Max Watts (Melbourne)
Sat 11 Mar - Uni Bar (Adelaide)
Fri 17 Mar - Prince of Wales (Bunbury)
Sat 18 Mar - Badlands Bar (Perth)