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Hey Dawn Sees The Light Of Day For Fanny



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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Jayne Denham Shares Her “Moonshine”



In the latest episode of the Country HQ Spotlight On podcast, we are over the moon to be welcoming special guest Jayne Denham, wherein listeners can expect an engaging conversation about her journey in the music industry. Known for her powerful vocals and heartfelt lyrics, Jayne Denham has made waves in the country music landscape, and are a feature of her latest album MOONSHINE.

Hosted by Adam Simon, the podcast delves into Jayne’s artistic vision, influences, and experiences that have shaped her career.

Whether you’re a die-hard country music enthusiast or simply curious about the stories behind the songs, this podcast provides an intimate look into the lives of artists like Jayne Denham.

So grab your headphones, tune in, and immerse yourself in the world of country music with Jayne Denham as your guide!

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Caitlyn Shadbolt Returns With All Star Single



Caitlyn Shadbolt’s “Country Music Never Made More Sense” is her latest single release after a short break. Melanie Dyer, Sammy White, and Sarah Buckley form a formidable trio to join Caitlyn on the single, which is a playful tribute to country music. All of them, plus Camille Trail, contributed to the composition of the song during a girls’ songwriting weekend.

“’I got together with the girls for a writing weekend. We planned to be all professional and split into groups and write in the studio, but we ended up having a couple of wines and writing this song around the fire! I feel like this song is extra relevant right now as country music is cranking and it’s never made more sense!”

Caitlyn Shadbolt is a top songwriter and performer in Australia’s modern country music scene. With the help of ABC MUSIC, Caitlyn was able to release her first album, “Songs On My Sleeve” (May 2017), after reaching the finals of Season 6 of The ‘X Factor’ Australia (2014). The album debuted at number one on the ARIA Country Albums chart upon its release. For eight weeks running, the lead single “My Break Up Anthem” was the most played song on Country Radio, and it also topped the CountryTown National Airplay Chart, while the CMC Award for Best New Artist and a nomination for Female Artist of the Year were both given to Caitlyn in recognition of her accomplishments.

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“A Bird That Won’t Sing” Comes Straight From The ‘Hart’



“In The Midnight Sky Alone” is the most recent album by soulful alt-country troubadour Rick Hart of Melbourne, Australia and the single “A Bird That Won’t Sing” is the new single from the album.

Rick Hart’s signature style is a melodically flowing, harmony-laden environment overlaid with the profound grief of his words and visuals. All of Hart’s tracks have the signature Americana and country sounds that make him unique. There is a noticeable amount of Wilco and The Jayhawks influence.

An emotionally charged story on the harsh truth of heartbreak. Everything that was once is gone, and with it comes an unwavering sense of regret and the knowledge that change is inevitable.

“Rick Hart writes and delivers beautiful country songs – they are thoughtful, poignant, heartbreaking and smart,” remarked legendary Australian musician and songwriter Lachlan Bryan of Lachlan Bryan and The Wildes and The Pleasures, who co-produced Hart’s third long play . “I wanted to work on this record because I already believed every word he sings, and after spending weeks in the studio with Rick and his guitar, I now KNOW them all to be true”

Early reviews of the album indicate it’s amazing reach and potential to appear on several year end top ten lists, even though we are not even at the halfway point yet.

Based on Michael George Smith’s review of the album ‘In The Midnight Sky Alone’ in Rhythms Magazine, “the songwriter that the record portrays is a storyteller of the heart.”

“You really should listen to this album in its entirety because, first, if you skip around, you’ll miss out on some of the characters and stories told throughout, and second, if you just listen to a couple of songs, you won’t get nearly the whole experience that this album offers. I get that we live in a singles-based culture, and I’ll admit that there are a number of tracks that would grab my attention if I only listened to the singles, but listening to the entire album has been incredibly rewarding.”
‘In The Midnight Sky Alone’ album review in RAGMAG

“Hart is a refreshing counterpart to the plethora of male singers who have gone awry of country tradition. Hart is a perfect antidote to whatever bro-hangover still looms over us and has the same refreshing appeal that Sam Outlaw’s debut album had”. For The Country Record

“This is impressive songwriting! The melodic aspects perfectly capture the emotional tone of the songs. The classic alt country/R&B musical aspects are brilliant. It’s a genuine pleasure to review this exceptionally high level of songwriting.“ The Great American Songwriting Contest

“With his deeply soulful voice, Rick Hart journeys to the heart of modern Americana-alt-country, where frankness, sadness and songs collide.” Greg Arnold (Things of Stone and Wood)

“I’ve worked with Rick Hart, and he’s a superb songwriter! Rick’s music is a unique combination of roots and country.” – Bill Chambers (Australian Country Music Icon) –

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