Gum Country are an indie rock band brought to you by vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Courtney Garvin (The Courtneys) and multi-instrumentalist Connor Mayer. Their self-described “harsh twee” project began back in Vancouver as a series of lo-fi four track recordings made in an apartment, very quietly. After relocating to Los Angeles where they currently reside, the pair recorded their debut full-length album Somewhere with Joo-Joo Ashworth at Studio 22, this time at full volume.
Today they’ve revealed a video for the album’s lead single and title track “Somewhere” that was inspired by 80s and 90s performance music videos. Courtney explains,”I wrote ‘Somewhere’ a couple years after moving to LA. It’s about leaving a place that you are comfortable in and landing in a strange new one, and discovering what parts of your identity remain and which were left behind. The first line I wrote was ‘haven’t felt this way in a while, I can’t think straight can’t hide my smile, I guess this is gonna be my life for a while’, and then it was just a process of unravelling that thought. I think the song could be about the range of emotions that come with any big change, and ultimately settling on a mellow excitement for vulnerability.”
The songs on Somewhere meander through the highs and lows of daily life, touching on subjects ranging from love, loss, and anxiety, to tennis, video games, and gardening. Garvin navigates these topics with humor and sincerity, her unassuming delivery riding amidst the swirling instrumentals like a snowboarder shredding fresh pow.
Gum Country draws on groups like Stereolab, The Replacements, The Breeders, Beat Happening, Yo La Tengo, Meat Puppets and The Magnetic Fields, enveloping and transforming these influences in the warm embrace of Garvin’s fuzzy open-tuned guitar tone. Mayer’s driving drums and melodic keyboard accompaniments provide a backdrop for these rich textures, casually blending digital and analogue to produce a sound that would feel right at home on NME’s C-86 compilation.
Somewhere will be self-released digitally on June 19 and on vinyl by Kingfisher Bluez (Canada), cassette via Burger Records (USA), Dinosaur City Records (Australia) plus CD via Waterslide Records (Japan). Pre-order it here.