North Arm comes from a place north of Sydney, called North Arm Cove. It’s in Port Stevens, where the man behind the project, Rod Smith, spent important years of his childhood.
Those who are familiar with North Arm’s Thought Lines EP, released last year though Spunk Records, will know of it’s nostalgic qualities. From the EP cover, which is an early 80’s snap of a freckly Rod, taken by his dad, to the accompanying video clips, to the songs themselves, each piece of work is drenched in the bittersweet sentiments of looking backwards.
With an obvious 80’s influence sonically as well as visually, we at Happy all loved the EP. It helps too that J. Walker of Machine Translations lent his hand to the production side of things, as well as actually contributing instrumentally on the record.
Rod Smith aka North Arm is an old Happy favourite. After releasing his Thought Lines EP last year, we have the first taste of his forthcoming full length debut.
Now, we’ve got a taste of North Arm’s forthcoming, full-length LP. Hollow Days is the first single taken from the LP to hit out ears. Lyrically, it speaks of the yearning for the simpler days of childhood – you know, living life without The Man – something we can all relate to I’m sure. The vocals are wistful, the guitars soaked in layers of noise, and always with a psychedelic, rolling skew.
Now for the live show. Although North Arm is very much a one man project, Rod has enlisted his all star musical cast to join him onstage: Sean Roche (lead guitar), Ianto Ware (bass) and Evan Clulow (drums and percussion) to work together to create the live North Arm experience.
To those who are familiar with the strange refocusing of one’s childhood days, a notion that bizarrely comes with reaching adulthood, listen to North Arm. It’s as close to flipping through a stranger’s family photo albums as you can get. It’s the weirdness in realising everyone’s childhood kind of looks the same.
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