Ahead of releasing their debut album Somewhere next week, we caught up with LA duo Gum Country to talk five tracks that have influenced their self-described “harsh twee” sound.

Their latest single ‘Tennis (I Feel Ok)’ exudes an exuberance and infectious vitality as hazy, sprawling riffs and vibrant, catchy pop hooks accompany Courtney Garvin’s laid-back, fuzzed-out vocals. A breezy, lo-fi cut, the track sees the duo, comprised of Garvin and Connor Mayer, sonically declare a newfound love for the titular sport. Of the track, Garvin says, “Kinda goofy, but in all honesty my relationship with tennis is so meaningful to me on a spiritual level. It’s my meditation practice. The game makes you present, you’re repeating movements, and finding a rhythm. And it’s so creative. I think all athletes are artists. Plus you get to be outside, getting exercise, hanging with friends and all of those things are so good for you. So the song is pretty much about how tennis just makes my life better. I love tennis. If anyone reading this wants to play (after the pandemic) please hit me up.”

With their debut record Somewhere out next Friday, get to know Gum Country In Five…

Meat Puppets – Flaming Heart

Curt Kirkwood is my favourite guitar player and the Meat Puppets absolutely rip. Their albums usually have a lot of funny country jams that I know turn some people off. But they make me happy because the band is just doing exactly what they want. And then the rest of the songs are perfect rock songs like this one.

The Magnetic Fields – Old Orchard Beach

I love this whole album, and I love how on this song they just have this one super loud keyboard come in near the end. Actually I’m not even sure it’s a keyboard, but whatever it is, it’s so piercing and distorted you almost need to turn your headphones down. I always say I want to do something like that in mixing and then chicken out.

Beat Happening – Godsend

I always return to Beat Happening whenever I need a reminder that there are no rules. This song has the same guitar hook repeated for like 10 minutes!

Sloan – Underwhelmed

Sloan were a huge band in Canada when I was growing up. I love showing this to my American friends because they’ve never heard of it. This song is like a cuter Nirvana.

The Feelies – Slow Down

I’ve been listening to this album every day during the pandemic. It’s just perfect feel-good jangle pop. Play it in the garden and take some deep breaths and you’ll see!

‘Somewhere’ is due out June 19th via Burger Records, Kingfisher Bluez and Dinosaur City Records.