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Song You Need to Know: Glenn Richards, ‘Hi Gene!’

With plans for a new Augie March record pushed back, frontman Glenn Richards has offered up an ode to life in the time of COVID-19.

Augie March frontman Glenn Richards has returned with his first piece of solo music in some time, sharing the video for the gorgeous “Hi Gene!” this morning.

Ever since Augie March entered the world of Australian music more than 20 years ago, the local scene has understandably adored everything Glenn Richards and his bandmates have served up. From records hitting the ARIA top ten, to beloved singles that are still unifying experiences for every music fan, the music that Richards has had a hand in creating is something truly special.

In 2010, Richards found himself branching out into the world of solo music, releasing the criminally-underrated Glimjack. While a few more Augie March records followed (as did his solo single “A Strange Bird”), the inimitable musician has now returned with his latest single, the sleek “Hi Gene!”.

An enigmatic release which sees Richards effortlessly capturing the attitudes and advice needed in the midst a global pandemic, while wrapping it up in a self-produced three-minute composition, “Hi Gene!” is the song the world never knew it needed to help get through these current times.

With both the track and its video being written, performed, recorded, filmed, and now released by Richards during isolation, the song’s lyrics perfectly capture the mood of the world in these strange, strange times. “The cleaner I get, the perkier I feel/I’m using phrases like, ‘So surreal’,” Richards admits before spelling out the track’s title.

Speaking of the single’s compositions, Richards acknowledges influences from Van Morrison, Neu!, and Sparks, while labelling the tune, “a gift to anyone who digs half-cut home brews and a cough in the face to the paltry pasteurised pop of pre COVID-19 existence

“Augie March had a big year planned but that’s on back burner baby, check in 2021, meanwhile there’s a full fledged solo record in the pipe and this comic little tune is to clear out the cobwebs,” he continues.

“Hope you enjoy, and folks there’s no making light of this horror involved, just a desire to make us happy for three minutes and work out some genuine Id problems. Stay tuned for more information on what will be a very special record this year, and please spread this little clip like it’s a vaccine.

“Artists are built for this shit, stick with us and we’ll see you right. We need to be cleaner than ever with our disgusting gross bodies but our whole culture could do with some dirt beneath its fingernails, there’s an upside to everything.”

Although plans for a new Augie March record have been put on hold for the foreseeable future, news of a forthcoming album from Richards will undoubtedly tide fans over until the world returns back to some semblance of normalcy.

Glenn Richards’ “Hi Gene!” is officially released on Friday, May 29th via Believe.

The artwork for "Hi Gene!" by Glenn Richards