Remote Control Records in partnership with Dot Dash are thrilled to share the debut album from Melbourne associates Client Liaison. Diplomatic Immunity is released in Australia & New Zealand today Friday 4th November.
Having known each other since primary school, Harvey Miller AO and Monte Morgan first started performing and writing music together in 2009. Their early shows as Client Liaison around Melbourne at house parties and gigs in warehouses communicated an ineffable and natural musical connection between the two former art school kids. Quickly the collaboration took on a life of its own. With Harvey mostly behind the keyboard, occasionally coming forward for a high-five or a particularly vehement fist pump, and Monte out the front, spinning, bouncing, dancing, and singing in a voice that climbs higher and higher, before disappearing momentarily offstage, only to reappear in a whole new ensemble of clothing. The spectacle of their performances has always been as visual as it is auditory. This is a musical sensibility that has evolved into a more holistic aesthetic mission.
The debut album Diplomatic Immunity has been a long time coming. So it should be. Diplomacy requires tact, which calls for patience. But immunity suggests misbehavior, which simply must be gotten away with. Part of the reason for the wait is the sheer scale of the collaboration that has gone into the album. True to the inclusive freewheeling spirit of the band’s shows, the album has brought together artists from an array of genres and fields, none more vital than the one and only Tina Arena (Harvey’s childhood hero, of course), whose iconic smooth cinematic voice is in top form on ‘A Foreign Affair’. In contrasting style,‘Where Do We Belong’, a song which openly investigates modern Australian identity, and, with its Didgeridoo elements, offers a sort of coda to the band’s earliest hit ‘End of the Earth’, was produced and co-written with Benjamin Plant of Miami Horror.
But perhaps the most important collaboration of all was with Eric J Dubowsky, who mixed the album, creating a filmic vintage sound to match the temperament of the album’s lyrics which characteristically revel in the jargon of politics and the peculiar vocabulary of national identity. “To fly the flag of diplomatic apparatus / honoraries will seek what politics don’t know / while the taxpayer sleeps destinies unfold,” the opening track ‘Canberra Won’t Be Calling Tonight’ begins. This is a sendup of the idea of politics as a source pleasure, but—don’t be fooled—pleasure itself is no laughing matter. The thrill-seeking immoderation of the 80s is a sonic riptide throughout the album. Miller and Morgan often seem as indifferent to the passing of the last three decades as an unopened bottle of 1986 Penfolds Grange, the intoxication of which is never too far away: “From the pressure you get diamonds and cocaine,” reminds‘World of our Love’. The settings of each of the songs gives the album the feel of a world tour, in ‘Wild Life’, we lose, “our way in the jungle” before finding it again with Tina Arena in Paris on ‘A Foreign Affair’.
Client Liaison – Diplomatic Immunity. This album is a fantasy. Which is what makes it true. It goes out to you.