SEVENTEEN long years away; but you can’t keep a decent indie songsmith gone forever.

You may well recall the graceful indie of the Departure Lounge; they released two sweet and underappreciated albums for Bella Union, 2001’s Jetlag Dreams and Too Late To Die Young a year later.

You may be even longer in the indie tooth, and remember them as Tim Keegan & The Departure Lounge, in which slightly extended incarnation they released an album in ’99. But let’s forget ancient history, now; they’re back with us they’ve signed to Michael Head’s Violette Records, should you need any further seal of approval from British songwriting royalty; and today they’ve released their first new song since … (let’s stop counting), “Mercury In Retrograde”, the video for which you can watch with us below.

They split amicably in 2003, rebuilt bridges for two reunion shows last autumn; liked what they found and decided the time was right to explore the old chemistry.

The four-piece, Tim Keegan, Jake Kyle, Chris Anderson and Lindsay Jamieson spent one giddy 24-hour session at the majority of the album was gathered up in a fertile 24-hour session at Middle Farm Studios, Newton Abbot, and laid down what would become a new album, Transmeridian.

Previous to this single drop, there’s only be the odd nugget for the band’s devoted fanbase: the ‘leaked’ instrumental “Al Aire Libre”, and December 2018’s “Christmas Downer”.

“Mercury In Retrograde” speaks of the reputed chaos that befalls humanity when that heavenly body swings backward in relation to the Earth, and other, more dashing, romantic imagery: “Outside, the castle, with my arms in the air, I am come for you'” – this transit in the skies above causing romantic chaos for the song’s protagonist.

Tim Keegan says of the song: “It’s the only complete song we already had when we reunited. It had been a live staple in our first operative period around the turn of the century, but slipped through the net when it came to recording.

“At the reunion gigs, several people said it had always been their favourite and it still sounded fresh so we decided to record it. I’m really pleased we did.”

Departure Lounge’s Transmeridian will be released on digital and vinyl formats on Friday, March 26th; you can pre-order your copy from the label, here.

Connect with Departure Lounge on Facebook and Instagram; and Violette Records on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.