Tom Lark – Dumb Luck: 13th Floor New Song Of The Day

Aotearoa artist Tom Lark (Shannon Fowler) is back with a brand new single, Dumb Luck. The track is the first release from the Ōtautahi-born, Tāmaki Makaurau-based artist since 2023’s Brave Star.

Earning him a finalist nod for both this week’s 2024 Taite Music Prize, and Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa | Best Folk Artist at the 2024 Aotearoa Music Awards in May, Brave Star was both a return and debut from Fowler – who had previously released two eponymous EPs before taking time out to work on his pop craft as Shannon Matthew Vanya.

Tom LarkBrave Star also won Tom Lark an APRA Silver Scroll Award Top 20 nomination, and reviews like these:

“Brave Star is an album adrift on a sea of memory bliss, cleverly produced and like a sonic mood-piece. It’s an album which gives dream pop a very good name.”
Graham Reid, Elsewhere / The Listener

Brave Star is the work of a well-rounded songwriter, as comfortable in the pop realm as he is crafting country-inflected folk-rock tunes, casual and confessional in equal measure.”
Tony Stamp, RNZ The Sampler

Dumb Luck’ is the first taste of new material from Tom Lark, and captures the artist’s whimsical yet pragmatic sensibility.

“When I began writing ‘Dumb Luck’ I was thinking a lot about perseverance but also how funny ‘dumb luck’ is as a phrase,” says Fowler. “Despite hard work, sometimes things don’t pay off and other times things work out in total naiveté, for no other reason than some weird cosmic alignment. That said, I don’t really subscribe to the idea of ‘dumb luck’. Instead, perhaps being ‘lucky’ is the ability to make the best of circumstances as they present themselves; maybe luck is no more than finding a silver lining.”

Tom Lark

The single is accompanied by a video directed by Sam Kristofski, that sees Fowler panning for gold and fending off snakes and spiders in the Waitākere Ranges.

“We had a so much fun making it,” the hardy cowboy recounts. “A highlight for me was trying to capture the perfect rubber snake movements, so perfect we somehow managed to catch a real eel twice.

“I think the artist way is often not so dissimilar from gold panning; you spend all day sifting through conceptual rocks and dirt to find something of value – and depending on how things go, people say “that’s so lucky” or “that’s hard luck.” And, really, it’s just hard work.”

Meanwhile, Tom Lark’s hard work has seen him selected to play at The Great Escape festival in Brighton in mid-May. Before leaving, he and his live band play a UK tour fundraiser show at Wine Cellar on May 9. Full details below.

Tom Lark

Tom Lark UK fundraiser show

Thurs 9 May – Wine Cellar, Tāmaki Makaurau w/ Paul Cathro

Tickets available now from UnderTheRadar


Tom LarkTom Lark is the original musical project of Shannon Fowler, who also releases material under the Shannon Matthew Vanya pseudonym. Where SMV allows for pop indulgence, Tom Lark is an outlet for the artist’s indie sensibilities. Returning from a 7-year hiatus in 2023, with his debut full-length record Brave Star, Fowler returned to his first love – which turns out to be making sunburnt psychedelic folk fit for sensitive cowboys to meander and philosophise to.

Brave Star followed two eponymous Tom Lark EPs, which were released in 2011 and 2015 respectively. Those early tunes found a home locally on the Student Radio Network, and abroad on Australian radio station Triple J – where ‘Something To Tell You’ reached #1 Most Played. Brave Star was recently revealed as a finalist for the 2024 Taite Music Prize, and Te Kaipuoro Taketake Toa | Best Folk Artist at the Aotearoa Music Awards.The album also won Tom Lark an APRA Silver Scroll Award Top 20 nomination in 2023.

Fowler was born in Ōtautahi and relocated to Tāmaki Makaurau in 2012, after a stint recording in Berlin. He works from his Okie Dokie Studio, situated just off Karangahape Road. There he has produced, co-written and engineered tracks with a delightful collection of collaborators, including Georgia Lines, The Fuzzy Robes, Merk, Randa, A.C. Freazy, Belladonna, and the mysterious Rick Shrimp.