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January 16, 2019

Argus and the Liar releases debut EP ‘Black Bean’

After years spent in Adelaide's live music scene, hip hop collective Argus and the Liar's debut EP, 'Black Bean' is a hard-copy introduction to the band's social and political ethos.

  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Supplied

A debut release from Adelaide-based hip hop collective, Argus and the Liar, has been a long time coming.

Now a six-member group, the band began life in the Duigan household among siblings Joseph, Ellie and Ben.


Download and listen to Argus and the Liar on Bandcamp, and listen to their debut Black Bean on Spotify and iTunes now.

“Our dad is a drum maker, he’s from Nigeria, he makes African drums, so we’ve always had that element and always been into rhythm and that sort of thing,” Joseph says.

“It’s always been around, and that’s how it started, is our brother, Ben, and I used to always make music at home.”

“Whatever house we’ve had, we’ve always had a makeshift studio,” Ellie says. “Only over the last couple of years has it adapted to the full band that it is today.”

Although the siblings have been active in Adelaide’s live music scene going back to 2012, Argus and the Liar’s debut EP, Black Bean, set for release on Thursday, 17 January at an event at The Grace Emily, is intended as an introduction.

“The basic aim and what we’re trying to get across with the EP is announce our ethos as a band, so most of the songs are quite political, and it talks about issues that we feel are important, that define where the world is going at the moment,” Joseph says.

“We talk about the direction of politics and music, things like that. The majority of the songs definitely revolve around that theme, and there are some other elements as well.”


Black Bean’s first single, The Ruckus, released on Bandcamp and YouTube on 14 December, “explores the ways in which inaction brings about social injustice,” backed with brooding production from Ben, while a second single, Baby Doll, slows the pace and showcases the dynamic range available from bassist Dan Davis, drummer James Francis, and keyboardist Alice Duigan Mussared.

The EP, partially funded by an Arts SA grant, was recorded with Adelaide-based producer Mario Spate (AKA Badcop), who has also worked with Tkay Maidza, MANE, Montaigne, and a slew of other artists.

“Mario Spate is a really great producer. We’ve wanted to do some stuff with him for a long time. He’s worked with some really high-calibre artists… We were really happy when he said yes to working with us,” Joseph says.

It will be a huge 2019 to follow, with the band in the process of organising a tour, and a full-length release already in the works.

“We’ve got a few crazy potential things that may be happening, but we’re not locked in yet. Definitely a tour, definitely do some more shows in Melbourne, and the plan from there is to work on an album,” Joe says.

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