‘An absolute swoonfest’: Fanny Lumsden shifts perspective with Hey Dawn

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‘An absolute swoonfest’: Fanny Lumsden shifts perspective with Hey Dawn

Fanny Lumsden
words by bryget chrisfield

Fanny Lumsden has recalled waking up in an Airbnb in Tassie as the sun was rising over the ocean: “I literally just said, ‘Oh, hey dawn!’”

She’d been feeling a bit “stuck” in the wake of her previous career-defining, Top 10-charting, Golden Guitar and ARIA-winning Fallow set (2020), but this spectacle of nature’s beauty shifted her perspective. Then another serendipitous encounter – visiting a market held in a hall and happening upon an old man playing piano – brought Fanny’s vision for this record to life, and she returned to her accommodation and composed Hey Dawn’s opening title track that evening.  

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Hey Dawn opens a cappella until a lyrical epiphany (“Our hearts they will be lighter/ Yes I believe it will be warmer from now on”) initiates an influx of instrumentation, brass and all. “‘Cause in came the smoke/ And all that good luck choked…” – Great Divide references the mega-fire that almost claimed Fanny’s property in The Tooma Valley. Commemorating the passing of her grandma, Ugly Flowers incorporates wonderful lyrical detail (“an in-ground pool”, “Pantene Pro-V”, “pressed trousers”).

When I Die, which features Ash Naylor on guitar, was written while Fanny sat solo around a campfire on the Nullarbor Plain. This rollicking track was inspired by Brett – a burly, bearded bushy (he stars in the accompanying film clip) – and his meticulously planned wake, which includes Fanny serenading him out of this world while his ashes are “shot out of shotguns (BYO) during golden hour”.  

Fanny and Tom Lumsden’s sibling harmonies are an absolute swoonfest throughout this album’s entirety. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: who doesn’t love Fanny?