BlankGC’s Tiffany Mitchell chatted to Fanny Lumsden – darling of the current Small Halls Tours and recipient of the CMC 2017 award for best new talent, a few days before Brisbane’s out and loud BIGSOUND.
It would seem that Fanny Lumsden has appeared from nowhere onto the festival scene, but really she has been everywhere. Summarising her album liner of a musical life, Fanny tells us that she grew up playing music on a farm in western NSW and after university; met her band, created two albums, formed a record label – Red Dirt Road Records and toured a lot of regional places, playing in over 30 halls for the Country Hall Tour.
“They are definitely my favourite tours during the year,” she says. “It’s a chance for me to go into a regional area, a community – it’s like this path, you can’t just access a community. Because you go there, everyone comes out and gives you a big hug, they are so welcoming and you get to hear their stories and learn about what’s happening in their area and what’s important for them. It’s just a positive, joyful night. I learn so much from that. I think we are lucky to get to go play. Not a lot of people get to access that.”
BlankGC asked whether her songs from the new album ‘Real Class Act’ are conversations absorbed from her country tours. “I think they all are in some way or another,” she says. “’Here to Hear’ and ‘Real Men Don’t Cry’ are kind of like a stigma and how pride can block each other in the bush, especially males. Mental health is a real big issue in the country and everywhere and I do those songs in those shows, I talk about it, as it is important for us to keep the conversation going. The song ‘Here to Hear’ and its acoustic instrumentals… I cried my eyes out when I recorded it, it’s a pretty emotional song.”
About the upcoming release of the album ‘Real Class Act’, Fanny says, “we worked hard wanting it to be interesting, we wanted to push the boundaries on what we’d done on the last record – we didn’t want to see the same instruments on every song. We used all acoustic instruments, no synths, no computerised graphical instrumentation which is cool. We just had good players which was great – upright and electric bass, electric guitar, melodic banjo, mandolin and Dobro instrumentals. It was all my peers and I wanted to make it with my people. I wanted them to have a connection with the project and not just send off a track to the best players.”.
Listening to the album you can tell that every song has been invested by the instrumentalists as well. “Yes, it doesn’t feel like it was mashed out and sent off on a file,” she says. “We got everyone into the studio so we had that connection while we were making it.”
There is one song on the new album, ‘Peppercorn’, which harks back to the 80’s pub rock era mixed with a lot vintage sweat band pop, a la Olivia Newton John. “This track stands up on its own with only acoustic instrumentals,” Lumsden says. With the instruments shadowing a synthesised sound, ‘Peppercorn’ is definitely the little surprise pop package hidden among the other jewels on the new album.
Authentic lyrical compositions coupled with slick instrumentation; even though her cowgirl boots are firmly on the ground Fanny Lumsden’s songs and music soar of dreaming big. Catch her at Bigsound, Brisbane 5-8th September. Real Class Act will be released 22nd September. Fanny Lumsden and her Thrillseeker band will be playing through spring and summer on the 6th Annual Country Halls Tour.