Hey Dawn

Hey Dawn

Lighter and brighter than 2020’s ARIA-winning Fallow, Hey Dawn still packs in Fanny Lumsden’s pointed thoughts on domesticity and other details of daily life. Armed with a resounding power-pop hook, “When I Die” advises embracing life rather than staying home to scrub the floor, while “Ugly Flowers” pokes holes in some nostalgic icons of childhood and repeats an evocative image of a table laden with cakes for everyone in an extended family celebrating a birthday that month. Such lived-in details have always been a Lumsden signature, and Hey Dawn counters its prevailing optimism with deserved moments of doubt on the bushfire-inspired “Great Divide.” Later, Lumsden rattles off her personal reasons for thankfulness before questioning the idea of luck itself on “Lucky.” Those nuanced meditations of adulthood and parenthood help to offset the cheer of the opening title track and “Soar,” while the Snowy Mountains songwriter’s country-trained voice guides her closer to indie pop and radio-friendly rock across most of this record. The layered instrumentation follows suit, deploying warm swathes of horns and vocal harmonies rather than more traditional country identifiers. But there’s something undeniably classic about these songs, and Lumsden’s lyrics feel specific and true to her lived experience without being any less universal.

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