The Trailblazing Australian artist with a Golden Touch.
With a profound dedication to storytelling and an innate ability to weave emotions into her songs, Australian artist Fanny Lumsden is on the cusp of releasing her much-anticipated album, Hey Dawn.
A labour of love and passion, Lumsden worked intensively to find the world, themes, and messages of this album. Due out on 4 August, it promises to be a captivating exploration of human experiences and emotions through the lens of Lumsden’s unparalleled storytelling.
Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.
“Essentially it’s exploring how the stories we are told, the ones we tell and the ones we tell ourselves shape us and change colour over time,” Lumsden says of her new release.
“Sonically I wanted each story to feel right (emphasis on the feel). The theme song, opening track/front cover song Hey Dawn was a moment I had in the recording process where it all came together, I got up one morning whilst recording and as the sun slipped over the horizon I literally said to it ‘hey dawn’ and from that moment on I was a lot more present and accepting that the place I was in, the person I am right now and the stories I have to tell are the right ones for this moment, don’t think it. Just feel it.”
Described as her most sonically diverse offering yet, Lumsden’s approach to incorporating different musical elements while staying true to her acoustic songwriting style is rooted in her gut feelings and intuition. “I am excited to explore,” she says, “and I don’t feel like instrumentation should be limited due to what genre you have been put in. We made decisions based on each song, each story, and focused on what was the best way to portray them through sound.”
View this post on Instagram
As a storyteller at heart, Lumsden masterfully weaves rich character studies into her songs. Featuring 10 tracks, including previously released singles ‘Ugly Flowers’, ‘When I Die’, ‘Millionaire’, and title track ‘Hey Dawn’, the songwriter found inspiration in revisiting her childhood, reflecting on the fond memories of growing up on a sheep and cropping farm in western NSW.
“Stories and storytelling specifically is how I express myself and how I make sense of the world.
“I had a really beautiful childhood growing up on a sheep and cropping farm in western NSW with lots of family around, lots of music, lots of space so it’s full of very special fond memories,” she says.
“I think why it came out in the songs this time around was a combination of getting older, having my own kids and reflecting on my childhood through the changed perspectives, having great chats with my parents about stories I’d heard and been told as a kid and then being told them again as an adult and seeing how they changed and also the Covid period where everyone was left searching for comforting times.”
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, Hey Dawn also features collaborative efforts from outside musicians, such as EVEN’s Ash Naylor, who brought an iconic Australian sound to the album with his electric guitar on ‘When I Die’.
“I have previously not done a lot of collaboration with people outside my creative team, so this was a fun way to mix it up. The highlight was having Ash Naylor play electric guitars on ‘When I Die’, as he brought such an iconic Australian sound to it.
“We got to know him a little whilst touring with Paul Kelly in 2021 and 2022 (little brag), and he was so kind to us as the support act and into the music, so was great to have him on the record.”
Telling detail-rich stories – both her own, and other people’s, Hey Dawn is the follow-up to her previous album Fallow, an effort which garnered ARIA Awards, 8x Golden Guitar Awards, and AIR Awards. The album debuted at #10 on the all-genre ARIA charts, reaching #1 on the Country ARIA charts for two consecutive weeks, and was named Best Country Album at the 2020 ARIA Awards and sweeping the field with five CMAA Golden Guitar Awards, including Album of the Year and Female Artist of the Year.
Armed with a swathe of impressive accolades, Lumsden hasn’t wavered; she continues to evolve as an artist, with Hey Dawn now standing as her most complete offering to date.
“It’s my goal to grow and change, I never want to make the same record twice. It’s also objective, but I think thematically I have grown and songwriting wise I can only hope that people still connect with the stories I’m telling,” she says, “But if they don’t, that’s got to be okay because I made a distinct choice to keep exploring.”
Fearlessly embracing growth and change, Lumsden continues to explore her musical journey in new and exciting ways. She recently achieved a career highlight as she graced the stage at Glastonbury Festival.
“It was nuts. The festival itself is so overwhelming in its size and scope,” she says. “The experience of performing was incredible and I’m not sure what I imagined but it wasn’t a packed out tent of people doing the DIG dance that we made up in a Bowls Club of rural NSW and them all singing along. Was a career highlight to say the least.”
View this post on Instagram
With just days until the album arrives, Lumsden will be heading out on a national tour with The Prawn Stars, and she couldn’t be more excited to get back on the road, sharing her stories and songs with real people in live audiences. “Touring is my favorite thing,” she enthuses, “there’s just something magic about the whole thing.”
The tour kicks off at Bendigo Bank Theatre in Bendigo on 28 July, and will see Lumsden travel across the country to perform on stages in Victoria, Canberra, New South Wales and Queensland. Locally, Lumsden will be performing three special shows: In Bendigo, at the Mechanics Institute in Ballarat on 29 July, and at the Sound Doctor in Anglesea on 30 July.
In the intimate settings of venues like the Sound Doctor, Lumsden loves the close connection with the audience. “I love the connection of playing live. I love seeing people’s faces,” she shares, “as we all go through this experience together. We tell stories, make jokes, sing songs, dance together. It’s that up close person-to-person interaction that I love.”
View this post on Instagram
Adding a touch of magic to her album release, Lumsden has introduced the Golden Fanny Ticket, hidden inside ‘Hey Dawn’ CDs and vinyl copies. Lucky winners will receive a lifetime pass to any and all of Fanny Lumsden’s headline shows, making it a unique and special keepsake.
Her dedication to storytelling and heartfelt connection shines through in every note, every live show and every opportunity. As fans and new listeners immerse themselves in the world of Hey Dawn, Lumsden simply hopes they find joy, inspiration, and comfort in the stories she shares. “I hope they get whatever they need out of it.”
You can purchase tickets to a show near you here.