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Deep Leads

Cover of LP Deep Leads Buy Now

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation are the Traditional Owners of the land on which our music is written and produced. We acknowledge sovereignty has never been ceded. We pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future.

About Radium Girls

Melbourne band The Orbweavers unveil their haunting new single Radium Girls, with a video by Berlin-based Australian artist, animator and award-winning music-video director Lucy Dyson.

The song and accompanying video tell the story of a group of women factory workers known as the ‘Radium Girls’, who were employed to paint luminous dials in the - . Radium, number 88 in the periodic table of the elements, is radioactive, toxic, and was historically used to paint luminous dials for watches, clocks and aircraft instrument panels.

About the Song Radium Girls

Radium dial painters were encouraged to lick their paint brushes to keep a fine point, without realising they were ingesting toxic amounts of radium. In the body, radium mimics calcium, and is absorbed by bone marrow.

The Orbweavers - Radium Girls - CoverOver time the dial companies became aware of the health hazards of radium based paint, but continued to use it without providing adequate occupational safety controls. Workers became seriously ill as a result of their exposure, took their employers to court, and eventually won - but not after gruelling court trials where their illnesses were doubted by their employers. International health and safety regulations for occupational exposure to radioactive materials developed as a result of the ‘Radium Girls’ case.

The use of radium paint for luminous dials was eventually banned, but not before many workers died of exposure related illness.

Subjects: poisons, mining, industrial history, occupational health & safety, clockwork.

About Deep Leads

Deep Leads is about buried and hidden things. Mining the land, the body and mind. Old rivers of feeling. Poison / panacea. Extraction / preservation. Escapism / courage. Deep sleep. Cycles of decay and return.

Deep Leads by The Orbweavers - Album Cover

Geologically, deep leads are buried ancient river beds which sometimes contain alluvial gold. In Victoria, they usually lie beneath basalt lava flows which hold younger waterways on the surface above. Deep lead gold mining required cutting deep, dangerous shafts through hardened volcanic rock. The shafts were at risk of cave ins and flooding from aquifers, and often did not contain the gold hoped for.

To use this geology as a metaphor, ‘Deep Leads’ is the underlying layer to our previous album ‘Loom’. Where Loom explored the basalt bed and surrounds of the younger Merri Creek waterway, Deep Leads heads underground and within, exploring industrial, agricultural and personal histories (Blue Lake, The Dry, A Very Long Time) , heavy and precious metals (Radium Girls, Mine), internal realms of escape and quest (Poison Garden, Cyclamen, Nitrates).

We recorded and produced ‘Deep Leads’ at home in the Merri Creek water catchment area. There are many accretions of history along this waterway, and it always seems to find a way into our work and life. The street we live in is a stormwater course to the Merri. The album was mixed by the banks of the Merri in East Brunswick by James Cecil at Super Melody World, and mastered just uphill to the west, on Brunswick high ground, by Adam Dempsey at Deluxe Mastering Melbourne.

Listen to Deep Leads



An evening invocation for protection through winter, and deep sleep. Cyclamen are associated with the Ancient Greek goddess Hecate, who is often depicted holding torches. Hecate in turn, is associated with knowledge of poisonous and medicinal plants, a mediator between mortal and divine realms, a goddess of the crossroads.

Cyclamen is the second single from Deep Leads and the second song of 10 tracks.

Deep Leads - Liner Notes

All songs written and performed by Marita Dyson & Stuart Flanagan
Produced by Marita Dyson & Stuart Flanagan
Mixed by James Cecil at Super Melody World, next to the Merri Creek
Mastered by Adam Dempsey at Deluxe Mastering Melbourne
Art & Design by Marita Dyson & Stuart Flanagan
Original Illustrations by Marita Dyson
C & P 2017 Mistletone Records

Thank you

Sophie, Ash and Wayne. Thank you James, Adam, Paddy, Dan A., Stuart, Jen and Dan N., Bek, Sean, Grant, Lucy, Glen. Thank you Flanagans & Dysons. Thank you friends. Thank you listeners. Thank you Fern.