A man that really needs no introduction, Paul Dempsey, one of Australia’s most hailed singer-songwriter treasures, last week unveiled his eagerly awaited second solo album, Strange Loop. 

A follow on from the stunning singles ‘Morningless’ and ‘The True Sea’, Strange Loop was co-produced by Paul Dempsey and Tom Schick (Wilco, Ryan Adams) at Wilco’s The Loft Studio in Chicago. An an eclectic yet incisive second solo album, the record sees Dempsey confirming yet again his standing as one of Australia’s crucial composers and lyricists.

“With every new song and each new record you just hope to chisel everything a little cleaner than last time, paint the scenery in more precise detail and give some extra dimensions to the stories and also to have as much fun as possible creating all the accompanying noise. I feel completely satisfied that I’ve done that with this record.” says Dempsey of the new LP.

To celebrate the release of this incredibly impressive effort, Paul has kindly penned a track by track run down on the release which you can check out below along with the LP stream. Check it out below and if you like what you’re hearing head this way to nab your copy of Strange Loop.

The True Sea

I was reading about something called the Horizon Problem and I guess this song is trying to conjure something of the beauty of the vast, empty, black void of space and a desire to just disappear into it… and i think the music creates a nice feeling of space and distance… and then it sort of ends in a big crunch.

Strange Loop

This song is intended as a bit of a wry smile and an extended middle finger to the ‘self-help’ gurus… it’s a raucous celebration of being flawed and fallible and not really giving a shit about the so-called ‘true self’ or ‘the real you’ etc… and it turns into a 70’s cop show at the end’.

Idiot Oracle

This song pretty much came together in the studio. It’s a song about dreams and dreaming and all the fantastic things your brain is doing when you’re not at the controls….

Hey History (Don’t Go Changing)

The song imagines history as a down-and-out character in need of a helping hand… I guess the joke is that he never has anything to look forward to and he’s always dwelling on the past.

I had some really dumb fun with the guitars on this one and was very lucky to have Jennifer Hall and Sima Cunningham contribute some beautiful backing vocals.

Lifetime Supply

This song describes a disconnect between someone who seeks convenience, familiarity, a ‘comfort zone’… and someone who thrives on curiosity, the unknown, and being out of their comfort zone.

Most of the elements of the song have been retained from the original home demo.


There’s a desperation in this song that stems from the feeling of being far away from someone and urgently racing to get back to them, almost in defiance of the motion of the planet and the passing of day and night…

This song features Andy Baker on Euphonium and Paul Von Mertens on every available saxophone. His mouth was bleeding by the time he finished the bass sax parts.

Be Somebody

This is sort of an extended upside down, inside-out pick up line, it even seems like it’s being delivered at the wrong end of the relationship… This was the first song I wrote for this album. Paul Von Mertens and Andy Baker once again contribute horns, flute and clarinet.


Basically a song about being in love with a f—-king genius… I like the bumpy groove this song eventually settles into… Almost every instrument is doing something counter to everything else but it all seems to lock into place somehow.

Iris Black

If this were a concept album then the running theme would be identity… and I guess this is a song about the slow disintegration of identity. But this song is intended as a gentle and fond farewell… basically someone’s own faculties saying ‘thanks for the memories, we’re off now.


This song is about the precise moment of shock when someone realises they’ve been taking everything for granted.

(I’ve Got a Feeling) Nobody’s Trying to Tell Me Something

There are those who think that the voices in their head are coming from somewhere other than their own head…

Once again I was joined on this song by the wonderful Sima Cunningham and Jennifer Hall and we had a lot of fun recording it. They just sang along before they even really knew the song and it was perfect so I told them they were done.


Saturday, 6th August 2016
Theatre Royal, Castlemaine VIC

Friday, 12th August 2016
The Triffid, Brisbane QLD

Friday, 19th August 2016
The Metro, Sydney NSW

Thursday, 25th August 2016
The Gov, Adelaide SA

Friday, 26th August 2016
Astor Theatre, Perth WA

Friday, 2nd September 2016
The Corner, Melbourne VIC

Thursday, 8th September 2016*
Workers Club, Geelong VIC

Friday, 9th September 2016
Grand Hotel, Mornington VIC

Saturday, 10th September 2016*
Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan VIC

* Paul Dempsey solo show

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