Shannon Fowler has announced his first new musical material as Tom Lark after a seven-year hiatus
Due out on June 9 2023, Brave Star is the first full-length album from the Ōtautahi-born, Auckland-based artist. It will also be his first release since signing with Winegum Records in early-2023.
“We grew up with a small black one with a big red sticker that said ‘radio blaster’,” the artist recounts. “I often found much solace and comfort in active radio blasting – I used to take great pride in getting the perfect dub from the radio with as little of the DJ as possible. The brass line was inspired by the sting they used to play before the news; there would be this morse code beeping or a big bunch of trumpets to signify something important was happening.”
Shaped in equal parts by the confronting vulnerability of John Lennon, and the troubled braggadocio of spaghetti westerns, the songs on Brave Star are dreamy, well-penned psychedelic folk with a philosophical bent. And you could be forgiven for at times thinking Kurt Vile himself was singing down the line.
Brave Star follows two eponymous Tom Lark EPs, which were released in 2011 and 2015 respectively. Those early tunes found a home locally on the Student Radio Network, and abroad on Australian radio station Triple J – where ‘Something To Tell You’ reached #1 Most Played.
Following this success Fowler chose to set aside the Tom Lark moniker for a period, dipping his toes in the warm waters of pop music and releasing a series of bangers under the Shannon Matthew Vanya pseudonym – as well producing for a number of other artists, including Merk, Randa, and A.C. Freezy.
With Tom Lark’s Brave Star Fowler returns to his first love, which turns out to be making sunburnt psychedelic folk fit for sensitive cowboys to meander and muse to.
Brave Star is out through Winegum Records.