Relentlessly inventive and incredibly eclectic, Clare Moore and Dave Graney have made music together for over 40 years. Almost 30 albums and immeasurable miles travelled, performing across the world as the Moodists, The Coral Snakes, The MistLY, The White Buffaloes, The Lurid Yellow Mist or simply Dave Graney and Clare Moore, they challenge the ordinary and the mundane wherever they land.
This weekend they'll be at Scrub Hill 1869, previewing their latest album, One Million Years DC.
Ever the scintillating wordsmith, Graney describes the latest album as a 'vivid, rich and sparkling collection of songs; reflective, searching and personal.' It's the second album recorded in a year forGraney and Moore, and he's keen to get it in front of people, whether urban or regional audiences.
Dave Graney says venues like the former country church are becoming more important, as inner-city opportunities tighten.
"It's a unique place. I've played there once before; Clare has been there a few times playing with different people," Graney says.
"We've been playing music a long time and some of our audiences live outside of Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide... we go out to where they live and play our music.
"Sydney is like that. When people talk about the dearth of music in Sydney - it's always been different to Melbourne - but now we are going into places around Sydney where people have moved out to, and it's been great. Melbourne is suddenly five million people dispersed over quite a wide area; it used to have suburban gigs but there aren't that many of them any more. It has the inner and outer north scene.
"But we've been going out and about, so I guess Scrub Hill is more like Melbourne catching up with what's been going on in Sydney. Shows like these are more or less Clare on a set of vibes and me on guitar."
Dave Graney's songs are known for their literary foundations, both in the material he draws from and the striking short stories he conveys in the space of a few minutes in a lyric. Dry, witty, laconic and mordantly observant, he creates memorable, sometimes lost, characters in many of his songs.
"I'm inspired by poets; when I say 'poets' I mean jazz, you know?' Graney says.
"I don't mean flowery. Modern stuff, American, 20th Century people. Ed Dorn. These writers, they have a lot of pop culture in their poetry. But there's contemporaries I really love too: Steely Dan, Bonnie Prince Billy - people with abit of aura and a flow. Bill Callahan; Jodi Phillis.
"I guess my songwriting is ambitious and it comes from a certain kind of school. People think of songs being lyrics and a few chords, you know? But since the 90s Clare and I have thought more of textures and arrangements. Listening to music from jazz and hip hop, being in that kind of world."
One Million Years DC opens with the first single, He Was A Sore Winner which, Graney says in his inimitable way, is a 'kinksy groover, sketching a 21st Century populist tyrant who coasts in power on waves of public resentment at those on the lower rungs of the ladder.' We can only imagine who he's referring to.
In a conversation many years ago, Dave Graney once referred to the need to occasionally 'rearrange the furniture in your mind', and One Million Years DC is still doing that, challenging the idea of what is popular music while always celebrating it.
Dave Graney and Clare Moore at Scrub Hill 1869,1713 Daylesford, Ballarat Rd, Newlyn this Sunday October 13at 2pm.