Launching an album in March 2020 at the same time the pause button was pressed on concerts, tours and live shows around Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t ideal.
Two years of preparation went down the tube.
But in bushfire-struck Tooma, a small NSW community south of Tumbarumba, singer-songwriter Fanny Lumsden still walked onstage with her band and raised $12,250 for the Tooma/Maragle Bushfire Recovery Fund.
And it appears the resilience of the community rubbed off on her new album, Fallow, which was also launched at the fundraiser and has just been nominated for Best Country Album in the 2020 Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) awards.
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Fanny is ecstatic to be in the mix for the coveted award.
“It’s been such a rollercoaster with this record,” she says. “We weren’t able to do anything with the campaign as everything was cancelled this year. We weren’t able to physically get out there to promote it so we just had to figure out new ways to do that.
“To have it nominated by the industry and peers is really exciting. This record pushed through a lot so I’m really grateful.”
The album was recorded in an old stone house at the foothills of the Snowy Mountains. Conversely the latest in social media tools were used to gain support for it.
“Basically, we had to get it all online and just kind of cut through the noise,” says Fanny.
During COVID-19 restrictions, live shows were confined to streaming from home on Facebook.
Fallow, which is Fanny’s third album, was an instant success upon release, debuting at number 10 on the ARIA Charts and number two on the ARIA Country Chart. It then hit number one in weeks two and three on the ARIA Country Chart.
The album also debuted at number three on the Australian Independent Album Chart and held top five for three consecutive weeks.
For Fanny, it has been the most significant reach she has had.
“I wrote this through a time of personal change, but I suppose it became about universal themes,” she says. “We changed the sound a little bit from the previous albums and the response has been really amazing.
“In the end, it’s about the songs and I guess they connect.”
That connection is about to grow stronger as Fanny sets off on her Fallow tour throughout NSW, starting with The Street Theatre in Canberra on 7 November.
She will also feature in Great Southern Nights, the NSW Government-sponsored music event which will bring 1000 COVID-19-safe performances to live music venues in Sydney and regional NSW.
During her career, Fanny has racked up two ARIA album nominations; topped the ARIA country charts with three albums; received three Golden Guitar Awards at the Tamworth Country Music Festival; received an AIR Award from the Australian Independent Record Labels Association; collected a CMC Award; plus has her own record label, Red Dirt Road Records.
Fanny and her husband and business partner, Dan Stanley Freeman, also own the hugely successful touring brand, Country Halls Tour.
All dates for Fanny Lumsden’s Fallow tour are here.