posted April 2nd, 2024

Emerging once again from the unending waves crashing upon our fragile time-craft (adrift on the eternal ocean, and taking on water), Dirty Three are a) back, b) tangled in seaweed, rank with saltwater and possessed of three rather ominous thousand-mile stares (at least!), and c) not wasting another minute — as nothing is guaranteed. For their first album in over a decade (yep, it’s been since 2012’s Toward the Low Sun) they flew in, got together and started playing. End of story. What else is there to say or do but that? Music’s their language, their true love; they never stop listening to that. And now, Love Changes Everything. On June 28 most especially, and on Drag City to boot.

Rising up from the waves and primordial mist is a single, aptly named “Love changes everything I”, that comes ashore with a music video by Anna White. A six-handed salute to the rough ‘n tumble indie world from which the Dirty Three spawned, “Love changes everything I” opens the new record in a furious storm: the sun glints off the razor edges of Warren Ellis’ viola, riding above the din of Mick Turner’s guitar and Jim White’s drums as they raucously evolve from fish to foul. The original fury of their drums/guitar/violin-or-viola power trio remains undiminished by the years, cutting three unique paths through the wild into sudden convergence; elsewhere on Love Changes Everything, a wariness and patience allow them to get caught up in loops, become ambient, transcend, and then fight their way back in.

The Dirty Three (Warren Ellis, Mick Turner and Jim White) formed up in Melbourne in 1992, to play with guitar drums and violin or viola; within a couple years, they’d broken out of Australia and gone worldwide. Over the next ten years, they toured over and over the planet, cut seven albums out along the way, and de-coupled themselves to piece together many other fruitful collaborations with esteemed talents (Nick Cave, Cat Power, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, PJ Harvey, Nina Nastasia). Over the past 20 years, they’ve gotten together a few times to renew vows, rev the engines, play some shows, or make an album. Like now, with Love Changes Everything, a record bubbling up with the clarity of just-struck spring water — a translucence that gives way to muddy gushes of distortion, dirty guitar, smears of violin, and drums at times pounded upon beyond the microphones’ ability to receive.

These lot were born to be as weathered as they are today. Time doesn’t matter. They make their gathered wisdom of the ages sing like something new every time. It renews. And Love Changes Everything. The new Dirty Three album shifts from liquid form into the solids — LP, CD, cassette and digital — on June 28, 2024.

Artists in this story: Dirty Three