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Hey Dawn Sees The Light Of Day For Fanny

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Following her successful sold out set at the Glastonbury Festival in the UK, award-winning artist Fanny Lumsden has dropped her much anticipated new record, Hey Dawn.  

Featuring the top 10 Airplay hit ‘Millionaire’ and her current single ‘When I Die’ this is Fanny’s fourth studio album and the follow up to 2020’s watershed Top 10, 5x Golden Guitar and ARIA Award-winning album Fallow.  Fanny has also unveiled two additional snapshots of the album in the lead up to release, sharing the video for the haunting album title track ‘Hey Dawn’ (view here) and ‘Ugly Flowers’ featuring home videos and slides generously supplied by the Hardie/Lumsden family.

The record 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. But it took a while to get there.

Following the release of Fallow, Lumsden spent an exhausting 18 months navigating the logistical nightmare of touring in a time of COVID-related border closures and show cancellations. When combined with the residual trauma of the 2020 bushfires that nearly claimed her property in the Snowy Valleys region of New South Wales – “I literally drove out to Tamworth while the side of the road was still burning” – the desire to write music temporarily deserted her.

When it finally returned it did so on the coast of Western Australia, as Lumsden and her husband (and bandmate) Dan Freeman navigated their way home from the Northern Territory after border closures prevented them from entering Queensland for the final show of the Fallow tour. The circuitous route proved to be a blessing.

“I decompressed,” she offers. “It wasn’t until then, on the West Australian coast with no phone service, that I started writing.”

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.

“I was a bit stuck after Fallow and didn’t know where to go, and that unlocked it: ‘Oh, you just need to wake up, it’s a new day, it’s a new moment, every day is a new moment, and you just need to be where you are right now. Forget about Fallow, forget about all the other things, just be now.’”

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.”

Fanny kicked off her ‘Hey Dawn’ album tour accompanied by her sensational band, The Prawn Stars, in Bendigo at the end of July and she has a string of shows scheduled along the East Coast and into Tasmania, wrapping the tour in Franklin on September 17.

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Spotlight On Finnian Johnson

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Finnian Johnson, a name that’s been making waves in the country music landscape, brings a refreshing blend of authenticity, passion, and undeniable talent to the forefront. With his soulful voice, heartfelt lyrics, and captivating stage presence, Finnian has been captivating audiences and earning recognition far and wide.

Join us as we delve into Finnian’s journey, from his humble beginnings when he found his talent for music to his current status as a rising star in the country music realm. We’ll explore the influences that have shaped his unique sound, the stories behind his most beloved songs, and the moments that have defined his career thus far.

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Spotlight On….Kim McCartin & Her New Single “Head Above Water”

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Dive into the soul-stirring melodies of alt-country sensation Kim McCartin. With lyrics that resonate like a heartfelt conversation and a voice that weaves tales of love, loss, and redemption, Kim’s music is a journey through the heartland of emotions. Experience the raw authenticity of her storytelling, where every note is a brushstroke painting the canvas of life on her latest single “Head Above Water“, out now on all streaming services.

Drawing from roots deeply embedded in the rich Australian soil, Kim’s music effortlessly weaves together the authenticity of country storytelling with the edgy allure of alternative sounds.

On her previous album, Two White Horses, Kim gained debut critical acclaim that left critics and fans longing for more, with songs written by Kim and co-written by the album’s producer, Kevin Bennett. The maturity of her writing at the time won her many fans and friends in the broader Australian music family. Further writing as part of a prestigious song club, Kim was able to collaborate with some of her great friends and notable names in the music industry.

Penning lyrics like pages from a well-worn novel, Kim has just finished recording at her studio on the Sunshine Coast, with a view to releasing a new album in 2024.

With her new single Head Above Water, Kim invites listeners into a world where raw emotions and untamed melodies collide, resonating with a soul-stirring honesty that is both refreshing and unforgettable.

Embrace the rich tapestry of alt-country of a genuine troubadour, whose music speaks directly to the core of the human experience. Don’t pass up the chance to lose yourself in Kim McCartin’s captivating sounds.

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Tami Neilson Records New Single At Willie’s Luck Ranch

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One of Tami’s favourite songs from Willie Nelson’s vast library, “Sister’s Coming Home,” would be the perfect way to commemorate her homecoming to the legendary Luck Reunion Festival that takes place on his ranch. Featuring the talented Nicky Diamonds, a native Texan and member of The Black Opry, and produced by the legendary Pedernales Studio’s own GRAMMY winner Steve Chadie, Tami gushed about how meaningful it was to record this song for a number of reasons:

“Growing up performing in a family band, I’ve always loved this song from a sibling perspective. This track documents the first time me and my two brothers have recorded music together in 25 years. It wasn’t planned- Jay performs and tours with me regularly and our little brother Todd creates my visuals and has produced many of my music videos and album covers throughout my career. Todd was there to film and document this project- which was supposed to be just Jay and I recording a little acoustic love letter to Willie for his 90th birthday present. We walked into the studio and Chadie had scavenged around the studio for some percussion and rustled up a kick, snare and a floor tom- (no cymbals a la Willie!) I asked Todd if he would mind hopping on the makeshift kit and The Neilson Family was reunited once again!”

In 2023, following their unexpected live performance of “Beyond the Stars” at Luck Reunion in 2022, Tami and Willie took home the trophy for “BEST COUNTRY SONG 2023” from the Country Music Awards in New Zealand. Neilson has informed Willie that she will be bringing the plaque to give him for his collection. “You know, just in case he wants to display it alongside his fourteen Grammys!” she exclaims while laughing.

“Sister’s Coming Home” is the first release for Neilson since her award-winning album “Kingmaker” stunned fans and press alike in 2022.

“Neilson is at the forefront of the women who are taking back country music. This is the Album of the Year”

No Depression

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