We are overjoyed to premiere the new single ‘Ordinary Ways from North Arm, the project of Novocastrian (NSW) Roderick Smith. The first release since North Arm’s ‘Bring The Daylight’ album back in 2021 (see our review here), ‘Ordinary Ways’ is a slow burning and yet intense track filled with dappling instrumentation sofly swelling underneath Smith’s dreamy vocals.
A sharp edge filters through the music in the distance – a sort of synth/horn filigree – while the acoustic arpeggiated guitars are pierced by a synth riff and fuzzy, feedback hangover. It all makes for a layered intricate, delicate flow of sounds – almost aquatic – that envelops the ears with billowing cotton wool clouds: think of a mix of Beck in his quieter moments with Sufjan Stevens.
Smith says of the themes of the track:
…this song meditates on how ordinary ingredients can produce extraordinary results. A celebration of how self-compassion and quiet perseverance can overcome self-limiting beliefs.
This quiet resolve seeps into the delivery: gentle and poised with a steely spine:
The release comes with a special b-side ‘Light Between’ – a gently strummed reflective track with a euphoric and atmospheric riff and gorgeous harmonies. There is a definite Crowded House type hypnotic blush to the ethereal melodies.
Feature Photograph: Joshua McBeath