13 May 2021
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New Gum Sarn

Bio

New Gold Mountain has just as much to do with the countryside around Puhoi in New Zealand than Auckland, where the band New Gum Sarn formed.

“The (debut) album was recorded where I grew up in a valley in the countryside,” says singer/guitarist Oscar Dowling. “The closest town is Puhoi which is a 15 minute drive along a dirt road. It’s a historic bohemian village, famous for cheese and the Puhoi pub. The first time my dad went to the pub the barkeep told him to ‘get fucked hippie’.”

New Gum Sarm also features Sophia Lawler-Dormer on drums, Dave Weir on bass, and Durham Fenwick on guitar (who co-founded the band with Dowling). Fenwick and Dowling started writing songs together two years ago, shortly after moving South to the city. After Dave and Sophia fleshed the songs out, the band borrowed two van loads of gear from a variety of friends and recorded the album live over a weekend in Puhoi with Oscar’s brother Sam Hamilton, a longtime Auckland artist. Hamilton has played with likes of Tall Dwarfs and Dean Roberts and has also released an array of music most notably his last two experimental and experimental pop albums PALA and Integrifolia. Hamilton is also a prolific artist with works ranging over the many mediums of film, dance and sculpture.

The album was mixed in both Portland, Oregon and Auckland. Most of the guitar parts were written by Dowling or Fenwick. Dowling wrote the riff for the first single ‘Money Talks’ while traveling in France at 18. ‘Anxiety Nap’ was a piano piece Dowling was working on around the same time and when the band started jamming he took the right hand and Durham took the left hand. Originally called Small Boys, the band changed their name to New Gum Sarn last year. They are named after a supermarket just off K Road in Auckland. It means “New Gold Mountain”, which is what Chinese immigrants called New Zealand when they came to New Zealand during the goldrush.

Dowling also releases music under his own name, while Weir and Durham play in another band The Nightshades. Some other bands they have played with are in no particular order, Shacklock Meth Party, Bargain Bin Laden, Caroles, Trust Punks, Anthonie Tonnan, The Echo Ohs, Loud Ghost, Astro Children, Mermaidens, Greenfog and many more. Inspiration for the record comes from long term heroes Television, Velvet Underground, The Modern Lovers, Neil Young and Talk Talk and NZ/AUS artists Seth Frightening, Sharpie Crows, Rowland S. Howard, and East Brunswick All Girls Choir.

Band Members:
Sophia Lawler-Dormer (drums)
Durham Fenwick (guitar)
Dave Weir (bass)
Oscar Dowling (guitar, vocals)

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Location

  • Auckland


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