Havilah (album)

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Studio album by The Drones
Released 20 September 2008 AUS
16 February 2009 UK, US
Recorded April 2008
Genre Alternative rock
Label ATP Recordings
MGM Distribution
Producer Burke Reid
Gareth Liddiard
The Drones chronology
Live at the Annandale Hotel 18th, 19 October 2007
A Thousand Mistakes
Singles from Havilah
  1. "The Minotaur"
    Released: 29 July 2008

Havilah is the fifth studio album by Australian band The Drones, released in September 2008 (Australia) and February 2009 (UK, USA) by ATP Recordings. The title of the album is a biblical reference to a Shangri-La-esque town (Havilah) with an abundance of gold. It is also the name of a valley near where the album was recorded.[1] The album debuted at #47 on the Australian album charts.[2]

The album was recorded at the mud-brick home of lead singer Gareth Liddiard and his partner/band bassist Fiona Kitschin, outside Myrtleford (at the base of Victoria’s Mount Buffalo).

"It's like a little world unto itself in the forest. It's a beautiful place. You can't always find a good spot to record, but if you can find a house like this that's a bonus." - Liddiard[3]

"It was a great place to write and record. We were literally in the middle of a sub-alpine forest. We had no electricity, just diesel generators. It’d be just about the only record made on a diesel budget." - Liddiard[4]

Dan Luscombe, the lead guitarist for The Drones had this to say about the album's title.

"Havilah is the name of the town where we recorded the album…our nearest neighbour was 4km away". In fact, this Victorian town was once a gold rush town populated with thousands of people just before the turn of the 20th century. It is now fitted out with about 30 people, and on this note, touches of Australian history are filling this album before we have even heard it."

To shake up his songwriting, Liddiard was reading four books at once, and using internet packages to jumble words and create unimaginable phrases – a technique similar to the labour intensive ‘cut up’ techniques employed by writer William S. Burroughs and singer David Bowie in the pre-web era, where they cut up words on paper and jumbled them up.[5]

“I made a conscious effort to put my head in the sand. “You start working, you have a coffee in the morning, and any self-doubt falls away" - Liddiard

The album was produced and engineered by Burke Reid (The Mess Hall, Gerling) who had to set up a mobile studio in the house, powered by a diesel engine.[1]

The first single lifted off the album, "The Minotaur", was released as a digital single on 29 July 2008.[6]

The album was nominated for the 2008 J Awards in the Album of the Year category.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Gareth Liddiard[7]

  1. "Nail It Down" - 6:53
  2. "The Minotaur" – 3:25
  3. "The Drifting Housewife" - 4:01
  4. "I Am the Supercargo" - 6:20
  5. "Careful as You Go" - 5:02
  6. "Oh My" - 4:43
  7. "Cold and Sober" - 5:05
  8. "Luck in Odd Numbers" - 8:36
  9. "Penumbra" - 3:53
  10. "Your Acting’s Like the End of the World" - 5:21


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
The Age (not rated) link
Allmusic 4.0/5 stars link
Alternative Media Group 4.5/5 stars link
Mess+Noise link
Pitchfork Media (7.7/10) link
Rave Magazine 4.5/5 stars link
Sydney Morning Herald (not rated) link
Toro (7.5/10) link
Tsunami Mag (9.5/10) link


  1. ^ a b Donovan, Patrick (26 September 2008). "A country harvest". The Age. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  2. ^ "ARIA Top 50 album charts". Australian Recording Industry Association. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  3. ^ "Havilah album news". ATP Recordings. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  4. ^ "The Drones". Louder.com.au. 15 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  5. ^ Ryan, Peter. "The Drones Triumph". Music Australia Guide. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  6. ^ "The Drones New Single – The Minotaur". Hot Source. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  7. ^ "Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA)". APRA. Retrieved 2008-09-30.  Note: requires user to input title, e.g. NAIL IT DOWN