Fanny Lumsden’s new album is an ode to a fire-stricken township

Fanny Lumsden’s new album is an ode to a fire-stricken township

Photo by Dan Stanley Freeman
Words by Augustus Welby

New South Wales alt-country musician Fanny Lumsden will release her new album Fallow on March 3.

Lumsden is based in Tooma, in NSW’s Riverina area, and the locality played a huge part in crafting this album.

“From simply writing it here and being inspired every day by the insane sunsets and light, the power of the mountains as this force that we can’t control, to the fact that we recorded it here in a stone hut, right in the elements,” says Lumsden.

Tooma became the world of the new album, so naturally all the clips and the art have been shot around there as well. “It’s an incredible place that is tucked away on the NSW side of the Murray, in the Snowy valleys and often gets missed,” says Lumsden.

‘This Too Shall Pass’ was released as a single in early February. It’s a song of hope and optimism, which arrived at a time when the nation desperately needed some of that (and some rain).

“The song was initially born out of this desire to talk and think about the more hopeful side of things,” says Lumsden. “I’m by nature a mad optimist, but I was surrounded by what felt like everyone, including myself, having a hard time.

“It’s been a wild coincidence that it’s happened to time with the aftermath of a hellish summer of fires as well, and so it couldn’t be ignored.”

Lumsden is launching Fallow in Tooma on Saturday March 14. The event will double as a fundraiser to help the community of Tooma recover from the Snowy Valley megafire.

“I spent the first few weeks of January evacuated from my home,” says Lumsden of her personal experience with the fire. “We did evacuate to Albury twice, once to get my baby, a couple of horses and dogs out, and a second time when the really bad fire day happened on the fourth. Then, sneaking back in at 5am the next day before the road blocks were put back in place.”

Despite it’s relevance to the recent fire crisis, Fallow actually came together a year ago, intended as a body of work centred on hope.

“We live in this incredibly beautiful place and every day the sunset would be just so amazing,” Lumsden says. “I was super inspired by my surrounds and I think going through big changes made me notice that even more.

“I just wanted to acknowledge it all, be present and then also notice when things were feeling hopeful. I also wanted to really bring people into this world, so capturing the area on film was really an important aspect of the whole album as well.”

Fanny Lumsden’s new album Fallow is out on Friday March 13 via Cooking Vinyl Australia.