Award-winning Australian Artist, Fanny Lumsden, who will be performing on Glastonbury’s Avalon Stage this week, recently released her latest single ‘When I Die‘ off her highly anticipated upcoming forth studio album, Hey Dawn (out August 4th). The official video is available to view here.
In addition to performing at Glastonbury, Fanny will be headlining three shows in Ireland – June 28th in Kinsale (sold out), June 29th in Ballydehob and June 30th in Clonakilty – and a sold-out show in London (July 6th). Limited tickets are available here.
“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 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 an 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
9. Enjoy The Ride
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.
ABOUT FANNY LUMSDEN:
ARIA Award, 8x Golden Guitar, and AIR Award winning Australian artist Fanny Lumsden released her third studio album, Fallow, on Cooking Vinyl Australia/Red Dirt Road Records, in 2020. It debuted at #10 on the all-genre ARIA charts, going to #1 on the Country ARIA charts for two consecutive weeks, was named Best Country Album at the 2020 ARIA Awards, and swept the field taking home five Golden Guitar Awards including Album of the year, Female artist of the year, Single of the year (‘Fierce’), Video clip of the year and Alt Country Album of the year. Fallow was shortlisted for the prestigious Australian Music Prize top 9 albums of 2020 with her Variations album also making the longlist. Fallow also won the AIR (Australian Independent Record Awards) Country Album of the Year, along with an Album of the Year nomination, and finished it off with an APRA award nomination for one of the top 5 most played country songs for 2021 for Dig.
Fanny has made multiple TV appearances and was one of 12 Aussies in Global Music Match. She is a Support Act Advocate, a Volunteer firefighter, she wrote and produced a documentary telling the story of Fallow through the summer of bushfires – and managed to pull off a sold-out theatre tour across Australia in the wake of the first wave of the pandemic. Fanny was also named 2021 Albury Local Woman of the Year for the Hume Shire for her work with regional communities, was the Country Ambassador for BIGSOUND Country in 2022 and is a leader within the CMAA (Country Music Association of Australia) community.