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Stream Oscar Dowling's Debut Album 'Free And Easy' (+ Interview)

Stream Oscar Dowling's Debut Album 'Free And Easy' (+ Interview)

Friday 14th April, 2017 10:00AM

After rolling out heart-stopping singles 'Ease My Passing' and 'The Life' last year, Auckland-based solo artist Oscar Dowling has now released his eagerly anticipated debut album Free And Easy via Australian label Spunk Records. The former New Gum Sarn-frontman enlisted friends Will WoodSteven Huf (Girls Pissing On Girls Pissing, Shab Orkestra) and Mason Fairey (Bozo) to help cultivate the ten songs contained within the record, which together encapsulate a sense of beautiful melancholia in the vein of the late Jeff Buckley. Stream Free And Easy in full below while you read our interview with Oscar...

It’s been a long time between the release of your first single ‘The Life’, and the release of the album. Must feel good to get it out into the world? Any special plans to celebrate?

I'm gonna chuck it on full volume and high five the mirror. Nah, probably just have beer or something and the tour is a kind of celebration.

The songs on the record have a very melancholy feel, why did you choose to go for a title like Free and Easy. Was it a purposeful contrast?

In a nutshell yeah, a contrast to the mood of the album, but it stuck for many reasons, some of which are really boring, probably the most important one is that the album needed a title.

Can you tell us a little bit about the cover art? Who did it?

I commissioned artist Rea Burton to paint the cover art for me. We used to live together and she actually made the mask that hangs on the wall in the New Gum Sarn album cover. A few months ago I went to her Elam grad show and remembered how much I love her work. It was nice handing off that responsibility to her, she did a great job.

Your previous project was with New Gum Sarn. What challenges/differences did working as a solo artist present when it came to fleshing out full songs?

Working with Steven Huf, Will Wood, and Mason Fairey made it pretty easy. It's hard to articulate how you want a song to be fleshed out and playing with these guys I didn't really have to. Most of these songs were written and recorded while New Gum Sarn was still playing together but they didn't fit in with what we were doing. They both have pros and cons, it's nice creating something from the ground up as a group, and its also nice hearing your song created as close to how you imagined it in your head as possible.

Your voice is quite distinctive and used poignantly within the arrangements. When did you find your love of singing?

I can't remember a time I didn't enjoy singing. I remember going to the doctor when I was a kid and he asked me to open my mouth and say "aaah" so he could check my tonsils, I was pretty chuffed when he complimented me on how well I held that note.

What’s your personal favourite song from the record, and why?

I don't really have one, there are songs I am more critical of then others but If I listen to the album now all I think about is what I will do different next time and where to go from here.

Oscar Dowling 'Free and Easy' Release Tour:

Friday 21st April, Whammy, Auckland
Thursday 27th April, Darkroom, Christchurch,
Friday 28th April, Refuel, Dunedin
Saturday 29th April Caroline, Wellington

Tickets available HERE at UTR


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Oscar Dowling - Free and Easy Album Release Tour
Thu 27th Apr 9:00pm
darkroom, Christchurch
Oscar Dowling - Free and Easy Album Release Tour
Fri 28th Apr 9:00pm
Re:Fuel, Dunedin
Oscar Dowling - Free and Easy Album Release Tour
Sat 29th Apr 9:00pm
Caroline, Wellington