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Absent Friends
The Divine Comedy
Divine Comedy Records
Catalogue Number
Release Date
October 9, 2020

Absent Friends was first released in 2004. Describing the album, Neil said: "The songs use stories and characters as a framework to pin my ideas on. It's mostly about the eternal battle between the pull of personal freedom and the comfort of domesticity”. The album was recorded by Guy Massey, mixed by Nigel Godrich and features guest appearances by 6 Music DJ Lauren Laverne and French multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen. “The whole album is rich, beautiful and can make you smile and cry on the turn of a chorus” stated Phill Jupitus in the Radio Times, while the Guardian described it as an “ornate gem” and Word magazine said, “it’s Neil Hannon’s best yet”. Stand out tracks from the album include singles Come Home Billy Bird and Absent Friends, as well as fan favourites Our Mutual Friend and Charmed Life.

The LP release consists of the original remastered album, cut at Abbey Road, packaged with a download code for the album and bonus tracks. The LP is heavyweight black vinyl in a gatefold sleeve accompanied with photos, credits and Neil's liner notes.

To mark the release, The Divine Comedy play five nights at the Barbican in London in early September and then later the same month, five nights at the Cite de la Musique in Paris. Performing as an eleven-piece ensemble, the band will play two albums from their catalogue in full each night. Absent Friends and Victory For The Comic Muse will be performed on the 5th September in London and the 28th Sept in Paris.


  1. Absent Friends
  2. Sticks And Stones
  3. Leaving Today
  4. Come Home Billy Bird
  5. My Imaginary Friend
  6. The Wreck Of The Beautiful
  7. Our Mutual Friend
  8. The Happy Goth
  9. Freedom Road
  10. Laika's Theme
  11. Charmed Life

Bonus CD / Download Code

  1. Absolute Power
  2. Our Mutual Friend (early idea)
  3. The Bird Evolution
  4. Girl Least Likely
  5. Mr Right
  6. Sticks and Stones (demo)
  7. The Dark Horse
  8. Idaho
  9. All Things (alternate version)
  10. Rose For The Lady
  11. Smiler
  12. Absent Friends (demo)
  13. Anthem For Bored Youth (demo)
  14. Our Mutual Friend (alternate version)
  15. Antidepressant
  16. Windy Pop
  17. Laika's Theme (The Promise)
  18. Charmed Life (alternate version)

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