Well this has been an extraordinary week of talent discovery for me. Although I knew there was talent in Aotearoa, I was worried about finding enough (I liked) to fill regular posts. That hasn't been a problem and to emphasize that, we have yesterday's find. Some of you may have known of Tom Lark for some time, but the first I had really heard of him was when I came across this video for "Give You All My Lovin'" which had been tweeted by Lydia Cole (her latest video to be posted later this week). What can I say? Tom Lark writes hooks like a pop phenomenon, knows how to put together something approaching a Phil Spector classic, and looks like a movie star. The immediate guitar/strings attack grabs the listener at the get-go, and the momentum is sustained throughout. But the song doesn't overstay its welcome hinting at an astute pop sensibility in the writer. Hitting all the marks I have set in terms of melodic variation, dynamics, arrangements/texture, production standards, the overall offering, with the tightly-edited, nicely photographed video (drummer Daniel Fowler directs), also hits all the marks in terms of offshore marketability, either in terms of broad appeal, or for global niches (there are such things). I believe this has broad appeal. But will it be a local success? I don't know. New Zealand is a parochial music market now, with local content succeeding when it fits around the "genre blends" that I have talked of in previous posts. I highly recommend these guys head offshore as fast as possible, preferably the UK, and do the hard yards there for at least a year. I hear they have an opportunity to play CMJ New York as well. They should do so. If they do go offshore, I believe we might someday see Tom Lark coming out of a London hotel to thousands of screaming fans. I kid not. The offshore move will be hard work with many pitfalls, but I suspect if anyone can do it, these guys can. This song and video are good enough so that we now have a new Honour Roll member, replacing Family Cactus' "Moss Green Cape", a Wellindie classic. Sad, but the Honour Roll must evolve. Well done guys. You can buy Tom Lark's music at the link here: http://tomlark.bandcamp.com/.
TOM LARK - Give You All My Lovin' (Official HD)