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The Divine Comedy venture into ‘Office Politics’ with new album

2CD deluxe with demos •  2LP coloured vinyl 

Enniskillen’s foremost chamber pop band The Divine Comedy have announced details of a brand new album. The follow-up to 2016’s top ten Foreverland, Office Politics is due in June.

The album is released across a variety of formats, with two double 180g vinyl sets (one coloured, one not) and two CD versions, one concerned with just the 16-track album (it’s technically a double), the other, a two-CD deluxe featuring an additional a bonus CD of Neil’s piano demos for the stage musical Swallows and Amazons, which are previously unreleased.

The album was written, produced and arranged by Neil and recorded in Ireland and London. Additional guest vocals come courtesy of Chris Difford, Cathy Davey and Pete Ruotolo.

Speaking about Office Politics, Neil Hannon says “It has synthesisers. And songs about synthesisers, but don’t panic. It also has guitars, orchestras, accordions, and songs about love and greed. I do try to make normal records, but it always seems to wander off into odd territories.”

Office Politics is released on 7 June 2019. There are some bundles available via the official store which also stocks the black vinyl and a cassette edition.

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The Divine Comedy

office politics - 2CD deluxe

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Compare prices and pre-order

The Divine Comedy

office politics - 2LP coloured vinyl

Currency:

Office Politics 2CD

CD1

  1. Queuejumper
  2. Office Politics
  3. Norman And Norma
  4. Absolutely Obsolete
  5. Infernal Machines
  6. You’ll Never Work In This Town Again
  7. Psychological Evaluation
  8. The Synthesiser Service Centre Super Summer Sale
  9. The Life And Soul Of The Party
  10. A Feather In Your Cap
  11. I’m A Stanger Here
  12. Dark Days Are Here Again
  13. Philip And  Steve’s Furniture Removal Company
  14. Opportunity’ Knox
  15. After The Lord Mayor’s Show
  16. When The Working Day Is Done

CD2 (Swallows and Amazons – The Original Piano Demos)

  1. Whistle For A Wind
  2. The Swallow
  3. The Conquering Heroes
  4. Fighting Swallow
  5. The Amazon Pirates
  6. The Parley
  7. Better Drowned Than Duffers
  8. Let’s Make The Best Of It
  9. Navy Stroke
  10. Like Robinson Crusoe
  11. Titty’s Dream
  12. The Conquering Heroes, Victory Chorus
  13. The Black Spot
  14. The Parley – Flint’s Apology
  15. Swallows And Amazons Forever

Office Politics 2LP vinyl

  1. Queuejumper
  2. Office Politics
  3. Norman And Norma
  4. Absolutely Obsolete
  5. Infernal Machines
  6. You’ll Never Work In This Town Again
  7. Psychological Evaluation
  8. The Synthesiser Service Centre Super Summer Sale
  9. The Life And Soul Of The Party
  10. A Feather In Your Cap
  11. I’m A Stanger Here
  12. Dark Days Are Here Again
  13. Philip And  Steve’s Furniture Removal Company
  14. Opportunity’ Knox
  15. After The Lord Mayor’s Show
  16. When The Working Day Is Done

22 responses to The Divine Comedy venture into ‘Office Politics’ with new album

  1. Dennis Gross says:

    Finally the album´s out now. And it is an overwhelming luscious spectrum of a musical poetical man who can. Thanks Neil! Brilliant.

  2. noyoucmon says:

    I love the cover and I want that signed print more for the artwork than for his signature. But bahhh, it looks like the signed print is no longer available!

  3. Chris says:

    The cover IS awful, because it’s a fairly astute parody of generic early 80s graphic design which is hard to stomach (the garish typography in particular is spot on for the era). Good for a gag, less easy to live with. But I suspect at this point in his career Neil knows he’s appealing to a hardcore buyer who’ll look past it.
    Casanova remains my album of 1996…an astonishing record in places, but much overlooked now.

  4. Auteur55 says:

    One of my top five favorite songwriters ever. Just adore everything he does and feel like he’s on a run of albums from Absent Friends to Foreverland of just being completely singular and unique. The only of his kind. Can’t wait for this love the first song released. Really hope there may be a deluxe reissues if older albums someday.

  5. Jason says:

    Bang Goes the Knighthood was sort of a letdown after a string of incredibly strong albums with Setanta and EMI, followed by a long wait for Foreverland, which had some decent stuff and some that stepped a bit too far into questionable taste zones (Funny Peculiar, How Can You Leave Me On My Own, Other People). Missing Joby Talbot’s orchestral arrangements and the sweeping emotion of those albums, these two recent albums just seemed somewhat slight by comparison (including said artwork of the former). Both have grown on me since with some especially great moments on Foreverland like the title track, To the Rescue, and I Joined the Foreign Legion to Forget, so I’m really looking forward to this now, as I have come to realize there just aren’t too many artists writing and performing these kind of songs today with such grace and panache. Neil is a gift and a treasure and a tremendous songwriter and tunesmith. It would take a lot for me to not like what’s in store. That being said, I really wish he could find a way to reissue those earlier albums on vinyl, maybe as two label-themed box sets even. Please take my money, Neil…

    • Neil says:

      I wish they would reissue their back catalogue as 2 CD’s with all their b sides which there are loads.

  6. Ross Baker says:

    Hmm, two horrible album covers in a row. What are you up to, Neil?
    The single veers worryingly close to indie-pop, too. Foreverland took a long time to grow on me, but I enjoy it now. Have to say I do miss the bolder, more dramatic sounding work of older records, however. The last few have sounded very ‘comfy’ for the most part. I appreciate that without label backing, bigger, more orchestral stuff is harder to afford, so the smaller sounding, band-based work of his recent albums is more practical, but even then I miss the more chamber-pop approach of the first two.

    Anyway, this is all very negative. Even sub-par Divine Comedy is decent, so I’ll be picking the album up either way. At this length I’m sure there’ll be plenty of good songs on there. Happy about the bonus disc, which echoes Foreverland’s wonderful In May piano recordings (which felt much closer to his earlier stuff, actually). It’s great to be able to have these works to listen to at home.

    • Tcf says:

      I second your post 100%! Only that I find the cover of Foreverland not that bad. I really really dislike Bang goes the Knighthood!!!

      I dream of a album with a small string quartet….

  7. Norman Reid says:

    When I met Neil last time he said he hadn’t written a song with Norman in the title. Now he has!! Hope it’s complimentary.

  8. Eamonn says:

    Isn’t he just depicting what’s happening in the buildings of the cover of Penthouse and Pavement? And it’s better than that bath shot on Bang Goes The Knighthood!

  9. Justin Isbell says:

    Ordered. Thanks for the heads up Paul. Hope it’s an improvement on Foreverland !

    • adrian says:

      Foreverland was their/his best album in 18 years!

    • Trash says:

      Foreverland is the first time I have been disappointed by any albums from Mr Hannon (including the Duckworth Lewis stuff). So I also hope this is better than that.

      And yes – there are definitely shades of How Dare You about the cover :-)

      • Kenny says:

        Its nothing like the “How Dare You” cover. So Neil’s on the phone? The red boots remind me of Kate Bush’s “The Red Shoes”

        • Tim Abbott says:

          Actually ‘Kenny’, the inner gatefold sleeve of How Dare You has a group of people talking via telephone . So I’d say ‘Trash’ has a good point, and is clearly a 10cc fan!

          • Chris Squires says:

            And a Duckworth Lewis fan to boot.

            Both DLM albums are an absolute hoot. Funny thing with them is it’s easy to dismiss as concept or comedy but the orchestration is sublime, the harmonies enchanting and who doesn’t love The Beatles, ELO, Beach Boys, The Eagles and to crown it all Matt bloody Berry……
            Mason on the Boundary, Third Man and Out in the Middle are utterly stellar tracks on any album. I was hoping as this is an Ashes year that a third installment would be out but I haven’t heard anything yet.

  10. James C says:

    Great news, one of my all time favourite acts, seem them countless times since 1997 and have seen the West End production of Swallows & Amazons. For anyone cautious about the synthesizers comment, Neil Hannon set a precedent years ago with songs like Europop, Maryland Electric Rainstorm, I’ve Been To A Marvellous Party, as well as many of his demos. I wonder if the cover is meant to be a bad pastiche of Penthouse And Pavement? Looks a bit like a McFadden’s Cold War image though.

  11. Tcf says:

    Preordered. But ……awful cover!

  12. Tony O says:

    Enjoyed Foreverland so looking forward to this

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