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Fanny Lumsden Releases Third Single From New Album

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“This song has a muse.” So states Fanny Lumsden as she recounts the incredible story behind WHEN I DIE, and the inspiration for its lyrics.

The muse in question is a big, bearded lumberjack and bushy called Brett. This song is about his meticulously planned celebration for his own wake, which involves a hillside with an ‘awesome view’ (as he calls it), a bonfire of an old truck, live music from Fanny to serenade him out of this world – and his ashes getting shot out of shotguns (BYO) during golden hour!

Fanny explains, “Brett bailed me up at the pub one day to ask me how much I would charge to perform at his wake. I nominated an outrageous fee and a down payment of a cow and 2 loads of wood. He rocked up a few months later with the first load of wood and let’s just say it has taken off since then! The song is really about sticking to your guns and being true to who you are both in life and in death. I wrote it sitting around a campfire on my own on the Nullarbor Plain.

The feel-good, hugely fun video featuring of course, Brett – was directed by Fanny Lumsden and Dan Freeman, with DOP Sam Brumby (King Stingray). Listen to WHO’S BRETT: A ‘HEY DAWN / WHEN I DIE’ podcast special with Fanny Lumsden from 7am on June 1 HERE


Fanny’s fourth studio album HEY DAWN is set to drop on August 4 (Cooking Vinyl Australia). It will be accompanied by a national tour with her band The Prawn Stars, kicking off on July 28 in Bendigo and working along the East Coast, all pre-empted by a late June/early July UK tour, including Glastonbury Festival’s Avalon Stage on June 23 – a genuine pinch-me moment for Lumsden.

Ahead of album release, Fanny has devised the most amazing opportunity for fans – the Golden Fanny Ticket!  Hidden inside one Hey Dawn CD and one Hey Dawn vinyl is the ticket that will give the lucky winners a lifetime pass to any and all Fanny Lumsden headline shows – imagine never having to pay for a Fanny Lumsden gig again!  To be in the running, fans just order Hey Dawn on vinyl or CD from Fanny’s website, to be the lucky recipient! See here for more.

The album Hey Dawn is a rich character study, with the singer-songwriter reflecting on the stories that have shaped her and those around her. It’s also a more sonically diverse outing than Lumsden’s previous records, incorporating elements such as guitar-based indie-pop into her trademark world of gorgeously crafted, emotionally rich acoustic songwriting.

“I wanted it to feel good, I wanted to have fun,” she smiles. “I didn’t want to think too hard about it – I just wanted to feel.”

Hey Dawn is, in short, Lumsden’s most complete offering to date. Having focused inward lyrically on Fallow, Lumsden was once again interested in telling detail-rich stories – both her own, and other people’s. In particular, she found herself drawn to her childhood, “when obviously I felt no weight of anything”.

“I think that might have been a reaction to the last few years, which were heavy for everyone,” she offers.

Lumsden and her band travelled to Tasmania to work with longtime producer Matt Fell at his studio in the picturesque Gowrie Park, many of the songs were still only ideas and shapes – an unfamiliar scenario for a singer-songwriter more used to being meticulously prepared.

The initial sessions were disrupted by a catastrophic storm that forced them to relocate to the eastern side of the island. It was there, in an Airbnb, that Lumsden awoke one morning just as the sun was rising.

“I literally just said, ‘Oh, hey dawn!’,” chuckles the singer. The seemingly innocuous moment became something more when the sessions returned to Gowrie Park and Lumsden visited a local market in a nearby hall, in which a man was playing piano.

“The only pre-idea I had for the record was I knew I wanted the sound of a piano that felt like you were in a hall when you were a kid, and I walked into this hall and this old man was playing this vision of what I had in my head,” she recalls.

That night she went back to her accommodation and wrote “Hey Dawn”, the stunning title-track that pairs celestial vocal harmonies with gentle piano before climaxing with Bacharach-esque flair. Finally, the album made sense.

Alongside her regular bandmates – husband Dan on bass, brother Tom on backing vocals, Josh Schubert on drums, and multi-instrumentalists Benjamin Corbett and Paddy Montgomery – she also welcomed the input of outside musicians such as EVEN’s Ash Naylor.

It’s a fitting sentiment for an album that is about the here and now, how it’s shaped by the stories from our past, and how they can always be re-written in our future.

“You have to tell the stories of the moment you’re in, and you have to put them out and trust that that is okay,” smiles Lumsden. “It’s a new day, we’re here.”

HEY DAWN TRACKLISTING:

1. Hey Dawn
2. Great Divide
3. You’ll Be Fine
4. Ugly Flowers
5. When I Die
6. Lucky
7. Soar
8. Millionaire
9. Enjoy The Ride
10. Stories

Fanny will hit the road from the end of July to celebrate the release of Hey Dawn, playing with The Prawn Stars across Vic, ACT, NSW and QLD. She also has key global tour dates locked in – from New Zealand to the UK and Ireland. Please see below for all information. 

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“Passage Du Desir” – Johnny Blue Skies

Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow us to introduce Johnny Blue Skies, the new incarnation of iconic Nashville renegade Sturgill Simpson, and his new album “Passage Du Desir”

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Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow us to introduce Johnny Blue Skies, the new incarnation of iconic Nashville renegade Sturgill Simpson, and his new album “Passage Du Desir”. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and Clement House Recording Studio in Nashville, the album signifies the start of a new chapter for the artist, who had previously committed to releasing just five studio albums under the moniker Sturgill Simpson. 

From the very first listen, this new album, the first by Simpson in three years, is once again an intriguing exploration of metamodern melancholy, reminiscent of an early Roy Orbison.

Johnny Blue Skies takes us through grief, previous setbacks, and unreachable ambitions from the moment the pen meets paper on this album. Listeners are left feeling raw, perhaps even vulnerable by the artists intense honesty. As sorrow flows like the Canal Saint-Martin, he presses for admission on “Right Kind of Dream,” using his sublime vocal talents like never before, making this among his most captivating recordings to date thanks to his understanding and abilities of how to use his vocals to convey modern sensitivities.

“You can turn the page or you can light the book on fire and dance around the flames. You can try to live above hell or you can just go raise some. Here’s to clean livin’ and dirty thinking.”

Using a layered effect, Johnny Blue Skies evokes a cosmic remoteness with his softer, exposed voice. As if trying to escape the immense pain, he sounds to be physically detaching himself from it. “One for the Road” transitions from symphonic country-rock to guitars sobbing during the course of its nearly nine-minute breakup song. Think Jim Steinman, but instead of his symphonic power ballads with an operatic rock singer from Texas, his muse would be Johnny Blue Skies, complete with strings and a retro country feel, straight out of Studio B at RCA circa 1978.

His more powerful moments, like the chorus of “Jupiter’s Faerie,” bring out his voice’s imperfections and add depth to the album in the same movement, before “If the Sun Never Rises Again” is chilled rock meets blue-eyed soul allowing us time to rest and reflect before moving on deeper into “Passage Du Desir”.

The album is peppered with rich and lively background music that complements Johnny Blue Skies singing, with his cosmic metamodern theme continuing to feature through songs like   “Mint Tea”, which is inviting and euphoric country music for listeners old and new, while the albums opening track, “Swamp of Sadness,” sets the tone, with haunting accordion melodies and Simpson’s vulnerable vocals. 

Even though it’s not officially an album by Sturgill Simpson, “Passage Du Desir” showcases Simpson’s talent while performing as Johnny Blue Skies. Seemingly heralding a new beginning and a return to metamodern country sounds, his music has taken an alternate trajectory recently, and we as listeners are richer and rewarded by it.

“Passage Du Desir” takes its cue from Johnny Blue Skies and invites listeners to explore the depths of despair, to the point where the album is so good, the sorrow and despair can’t help but be replaced by the unique joy and elation that music can bring. This record will take you on an emotional journey through the complex web of desire and need, regardless of whether you are a complete novice or a lifelong fan. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Johnny Blue Skies has arrived and the world of country music may never be the same again.

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Minor Gold Release Soulful “Over You”

Minor Gold’s “Over You,” is a country ballad in the manner of the 1970s that is dripping with the melancholy of reminiscing about a love that was once.

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The musical chemistry between Dan Parsons (AUS) and Tracy McNeil (CAN), two award-winning and ARIA-nominated songwriters, gives rise to Minor Gold, a formidable Americana/folk duet. Their latest single, “Over You,” is a country ballad in the manner of the 1970s that is dripping with the melancholy of reminiscing about a love that was once.

Minor Gold have been moving about like clockwork since August 2023, when they released their critically praised self-titled debut album. In little over a year, Minor Gold have done it all: supported The Teskey Brothers in the US and Canada, showcased at Folk Alliance International and AmericanaFEST, and are now on their second U.S. national tour, which includes a stop at the Mile of Music Festival in Appleton, WI. Oh, and they have also toured Australia twice!

The duo has been working on their sophomore album for the past five days in Los Angeles with producer Dan Horne (Mapache, Circles Around the Sun, Cass McCombs), but this new single isn’t original material—it’s a cover of a song by Tracy McNeil’s father, the late singer-songwriter Wayne McNeil.

“Over You always felt like an undiscovered classic…Dad was such a great songwriter but just never had the chance to bring his songs to the world. It’s an honour to now have our own version and I know he would be smiling somewhere.” Tracy McNeil

Without overly complex instrumentation, Dan Parsons’s production faithfully captures the honesty and simplicity of the original song, which is filled with lonely grief and yearning. Featuring pedal steel and drums from ex-pat Australian singer-songwriter Chris Altmann and third part harmony from Tracy’s brother Logan McNeil, a musician and visual artist, the session took place at Catherine Studios in Hamilton, Ontario, and was a true family affair.

The incredible talent of Parsons as lead vocalist is a tribute to the transformative power of music; his rendition captures the essence and golden tone of Wayne’s voice while yet being uniquely Parsons.

The official music video aims to reflect the nostalgia of remembering a great love, and the heartache that still lingers when you just can’t move on. Filmed tag-team style by Parsons and McNeil, who worked to capture each other in raw, simple performances, they made meaningful use of various familiar old haunts in Tracy’s hometown of Port Colborne Ontario.

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“The Light, The Beautiful Liar” – Riley Catherall

An album of moonlit tapestry spun from strands of love, loss, and meditation, “The Light, The Beautiful Liar,” is Riley Catherall’s sophomore offering. Catherall takes listeners on a journey through the dark recesses of his soul with every song, where the echoes of love lost echo through the night.

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An album of moonlit tapestry spun from strands of love, loss, and meditation, “The Light, The Beautiful Liar,” is Riley Catherall’s sophomore offering. Catherall takes listeners on a journey through the dark recesses of his soul with every song, where the echoes of love lost echo through the night.

Catherall’s songwriting is a delicate interplay between openness and lyrical expression. Under a starry sky, his songs sound like secret confessions. In the song “Bark At The Moon,” he sings, “The night dies with the dawn here, a new day breaks on the pavement, and I haven’t changed enough. I’m a broke down believer.” All the pain of yearning is captured in these lines—the frantic hope that the night will somehow provide answers.

Light and sorrow are themes that Catherall returns to throughout the record. A love that flourishes under the moonlight but withers away in the light of day is shown vividly in “Coming Down, Coming Over”, whilst the songs reference to the albums title in its lyrics encapsulates the ambivalent charm of deceit, illustrating how love may assume the form of truth until the break of morning exposes its flimsy facade. The vulnerability of love, how it often crumbles in the light of day, is captured in his singing, with a voice that stays, leaving a trail of yearning.

Catherall creates an evocative sonic environment in tandem with producer Damian Cafarella, reflecting the ideas explored throughout the record. An intimate yet vast audio canvas is created by the production’s combination of acoustic warmth and electronic edges. Imagine two friends being on a moonlit hill, surveying a wide emotional landscape whilst sharing a cigarette, a bottle of red wine and a blanket around your shoulders. That’s how it feels.

An example of this equilibrium between producer and artist is “South Of Somewhere”. The sweeping melody on the electric guitar makes one think of interstate highways and hidden partnerships. Every note rings true because of Cafarella’s touch and fused with Catherall’s sublime vocals. The song’s tempo, which ranges from calm to fast, leads us through the maze of the night.

You should listen to “The Light, The Beautiful Liar” while you’re alone. It’s the perfect background music for moonlit strolls, hidden whispers, driving in the rain and times when you are trying to understand the inexplicable pain of love. As Catherall’s whispered vocals lull us into slumber, we are transported to a world where stars and memories dance together and the soul battles its own demons.

As the last chords die out, a paradox remains: the allure of deceit, the light that shows and conceals. Maybe that’s when we connect with the night’s secrets, our own beautiful liars, and the lovers we’ve lost, and if you let “The Light, The Beautiful Liar” be your guide, you won’t be alone.

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