If Roderick Smith, the brainchild of North Arm, didn’t discover an old, dusty guitar in his sister’s cupboard at age 11, his life may have taken a completely different turn.

Growing up in Newcastle, Smith spent most school holidays with his large family in the sleepy coastal town of North Arm Cove – and the old guitar soon became a regular addition to these family trips. Smith says, “I used to strum this shitty nylon string guitar all the time. Eventually, I learned how to play a few chords and figured out some stuff.”

 

 

 

 

Now permanently Sydney-based, Smith has spent the past few years focusing solely on North Arm, and under his project’s moniker, has already released two EPs and a critically acclaimed self-titled album in 2015, which was, “really contemplative, and a nostalgic glimpse of a time and place spending summer holidays in a sun-drenched place like North Arm Cove.”

“The first releases were a snapchat of an 8-year-old red-headed boy on a BMX,” he says, “but this record is about adult life and, as such, it's far more insistent and far more direct."

 

Photographer: Sam McDonald