17 November 2023

High-note night: Tooma's Fanny Lumsden earns Best Album nomination ahead of ARIA performance

| Edwina Mason
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a woman holding a guitar and standing in an open field

Fanny Lumsden: “I’ve watched the ARIAs since I was little growing up on a farm a long way from the city, so to be performing up there will be pretty surreal.” Photo: Fanny Lumsden.

Tooma’s very own celebrated singer-songwriter Fanny Lumsden has been unveiled as part of the Australian star line-up performing at the 2023 Australian Recording Industry Awards (ARIAs) on Wednesday night (15 November).

It comes off the back of an ARIA nomination for Best Country Album for her critically acclaimed latest and fourth studio album, ”Hey Dawn”, which rocketed to No. 1 on the ARIA Australian album chart.

With the ARIAs to be held at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion and televised live, Lumsden will be seen performing alongside fellow nominee Brad Cox, with further performances confirmed from Jet, G Flip, Budjerah, DMA’S, Jessica Mauboy, Meg Mac, Peach PRC, Bliss n Eso, Barkaa, 1200 Techniques, DJ Krissy, and Sound Unlimited Posse featuring KYE.

READ ALSO The song inspired by a Tooma bushman’s plans for a wake

Fanny said she was thrilled to be performing with her band, The Prawn Stars, on the ARIA stage.

“I’ve watched the ARIAs since I was little growing up on a farm a long way from the city, so to be performing up there will be pretty surreal,” she said.

“It’s also a huge honour to represent the Australian country music community, and I’m really happy to be doing that alongside Brad and his band.”

The success of ”Hey Dawn” follows her highly acclaimed ”breakthrough” album ”Fallow” (2020), which won ARIA Best Country Album, Australian Independent Record Labels (AIR) Country Album of the Year and five Country Music Association of Australia (CMAA) Golden Guitars, including Album of the Year.

”Fallow” was also shortlisted for the prestigious Australian Music Prize (AMP) Top Nine Albums of 2020 and received an Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) award nomination.

The self-managed artist has successfully produced 10 Country Halls Tours, toured with Paul Kelly, Kasey Chambers and John Williamson, featured at AmericanaFest, Nashville, and has just completed a huge sold-out theatre tour celebrating the release of ”Hey Dawn” across Australia.

The album is a rich character study, with the singer-songwriter reflecting on the stories that have shaped her and those around her.

It features the Celtic-kissed track Enjoy The Ride, a song written in her kitchen at 6 am one day during the pandemic – which was officially released last week.

READ ALSO Glastonbury and the dawning of a new album from Fanny Lumsden

She said it was about capturing all those in-between moments.

“My son was just being cute, the morning sun was coming in, and it was a really beautiful moment,” she said.

“We had all been trying to focus on things in our lives that are around us that bring us joy and peace. It was just finding the solace in that, and where I live, which is beautiful.”

Also newly released is the video for You’ll Be Fine, with various band and family members lending their considerable talents to a riotous food fight complete with flying prawns, airborne spaghetti and slap-stick tomato sauce.

The ARIA Awards will premiere live on Wednesday (15 November) on Stan at 5 pm. The live stream will be followed by a free-to-air broadcast across the Nine Network at 7:30 pm AEDT, with performances and moments available on the @ARIA.official YouTube channel.

UPDATE 16 November 3:00 pm: Last night Fanny Lumsden and her band The Prawn Stars won an ARIA for Best Country Album for their 2023 release Dawn.

Afterwards she said, “I think Dolly Parton saying my name might have to be a career highlight. I was so distracted that I didn’t even realize we had won, it was a huge night and I’m so proud to stand up there and represent Australian country music on the big stage”.

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