GUEST MUSICIAN MATT LANGLEY on the genesis of his new album Virginia Avenue

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Matt Langley: Never
GUEST MUSICIAN MATT LANGLEY on the genesis of his new album Virginia Avenue

Whaka oho rahi…Broad Bay. A place of plenty. I’ve certainly spent plenty of time here over the last few years in various cribs and little houses watching the harbour, trying to track her moods, walking to Portobello, writing, hitching into town, meeting locals, tourists, travellers. There’s nothing here at first glance…buses and tourist traffic wind their way with kinetic determination to Tairoa Head. Albatross, Gulls, Mollyhawks.

The mind is a map, a sum of points and the intersecting grids are a thought, a memory, a song, the girl who came to stay.

I’m always somewhere between constant motion and sudden collapse into hermiting, more walking, more writing.

Virginia Avenue. I found one of those ‘Gottages’, nothing flash but it had a good wee fire and a view of the water and was hidden away.

Work, mow the lawns occasionally and write. A place of plenty.

Plenty of songs. A winter's worth took me to Wellington and two days in front of a microphone. Forty songs done. Back home. Always coming back to write and as in the last song I always end up at Yellowhead, Broad Bay cemetery

It’s a peaceful place.

I’m fond of these quiet neighbours; Minnie Taunt, Thomas ‘Neptune’ Jopson. Good names. There’s a wind twisted old Macrocarpa that holds you out like a giant's hand over the water. We get along pretty good here. We are the residents of terminus.

A place where there is nothing left and everything to come after.

Dunedin singer-songwriter Matt Langley lives on Virginia Avenue in Broad Bay on the Otago Peninsula. His 2010 debut album Featherbone won numerous critical accolades and was described as "as fine a singer-songwriter debut album as you could expect" (here) and he subsequently answered the Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire here. His new album Virginia Avenue was produced by Brett Stanton (Phoenix Foundation) and Riki Gooch (Trinity Roots, Eru Dangerspiel), and it has contributions from some of New Zealand's finest musicians including Gooch (drums), Tom Callwood (Phoenix Foundation) on bass and Thomas Watson (Cassette, Fly My Pretties) on guitars. His tour dates are beow.

Other Voices Other Rooms is an opportunity for Elsewhere readers to contribute their ideas, passions, interests and opinions about whatever takes their fancy. Elsewhere welcomes travel stories, think pieces, essays about readers' research or hobbies etc etc. Nail it in 1000 words or fewer and contact graham.reid@elsewhere.co.nz.

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