On the Couch with Fanny Lumsden

Who is Fanny Lumsden?
Singer songwriter, tour-er, bizniz owner, chef (lie, cannot cook), woodswoman (vaguely true – can chop wood), ARIA winner (hell yeah I’m bragging about that), mother (trying my best), founder of the Country Halls Tour (just a fact), person who stays up waaaay too late even though I am deadly tired, drink spiller, BIG FAN of everything living rural, the word rural and saying it over and over, a little cynical, Guinness world record holder (longest distance rollerbladed by 4 people in 24 hours – specific, yes).

What would you do differently from what you do now?
Get more sleep, employ a nanny, not over book myself, do more exercise, spend more ‘quality time’ with my kids, garden more, learn to cook I mean, just be better. I think this answer is heavily swayed by the fact we are home for 2 days this week before we head out on tour again (which is GREAT!), but clearly I’m tired. Also not much because I insufferably love my life right now. But I mean if you gave me a jet and some spending money and said GO ON, YOU WONT, well – I would!

Who inspires you and why?
My Mum for her insane work ethic and compassion. My Grandmas for their fortitude and love of feeding people tea and cake… even when I went gluten free for a while, then they discovered GF flour (I’m back regular now if you are wondering). Dolly Parton for her diplomacy and generosity. A lot of random adventurers that have done crazy things like paddle the Amazon, or hike through countries or bike ride across continents and then written books about it. Many other book characters some made up. My 3-year-old’s love for his imaginary friend Boccy – whose car I accidently drove over recently – was a fiasco!

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Incite joy. Wherever and whenever possible. And leave some inspiration for others for finding more joy in their surroundings whenever they need it. That and some serious worldwide unified radical action on climate change and equality for women if we are going all out. Also a universal lesson when everyone is about 4-years-old to eat with their mouth closed.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
In Australia – The Kimberly or the WA northern coastline. Because it’s camping heaven. Red dirt, ridiculous sunsets, a physically long way from people and the air is magic up there etc. Internationally – hmmm I mean I am sure I would love a Greek island waterside villa right now. One where you walk outside and down a rocky path to a boat shed and dive off it into the crystal-clear water. It’s hot, dry and there’s extremely delicious food, wine and time.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Well I live on a farm on the western side of the Snowy Mountains so we usually go into the bush camping or for a BBQ, or go to the river or waterfalls swimming in the summer. If we can call the mountains and the bush in general an attraction, then that.

What are you currently reading?
Just started The Dictionary of Lost Words. However simultaneously This is not a Book about Benedict Cumberbatch by Tabitha Carvan which might be the most letter Bs on a book cover I have seen in a while. Surprisingly none are adventure memoirs or by Trent Dalton (whose writing I love). Oh and just ordered Lisa Miller’s new book and she is signing it for me – stoked!

What are you currently listening to?
My 7-month-old baby snore on my shoulder as I slump in an awkward position trying to type this on my laptop at 12:30am, But more generally music – actually fully loving Sixpence None the Richer (a bit of nostalgia), Dawes, Lizzo, Kate Rusby and the mixes of our next album that we have sneakily been recording in Tasmania recently. Always Paul Kelly. Podcasts – I have been on a bit of a hiatus for pods of late but always keep up to date on Bang on (Zan Rowe and Myf Warhurst) and Chat 10 looks 3 with Leigh Sales and Annebelle Crabbe. Oh and our own newly released SONG STORIES called Deep in the Fallow.

Happiness is?
My kid’s face when the octonaut theme song comes on. Finishing a book you LOVE and finding out it’s the first of a 9 book series, so you have 8 to go (happened to my husband – he’s just finished the 9th). Realizing that I just slept for longer than 2 hours in a row without anyone – ANYONE – waking me up, GIGS, GIGS, GIGS, the feeling when a song just arrives, falls out of your mouth into the air and you capture it, riding my horse through the mountains. Eating salt and vinegar chips. Nights off (lol what? When?), nights on (see: GIGS GIGS GIGS). SOLD OUT GIGS (especially ahead of time). Cheese. Wine. Views. And the last three together. My wee babes when they are sleeping or cacking themselves laughing (and the in-between bits obvious). Sunsets, golden hour, light between the leaves, pretending you can fly by lying down and looking up, GIGS, universal health care, loud chaotic dinners. Paul Simons’ Graceland and Harry Style’s Watermelon Sugar.

What does the future hold for you?
Optimism. Hope. Joy. Trepidation and ticket sales anxiety. Also more tangibly – more touring and festivals plus a trip to Nashville in September and working on the new music and clips and art and creating a new world to go around it all – my favourite bit! In between BASs, babies, many many kms in the caravan, more delays on getting my hair cut, never folding my washing (let alone ironing it.. lol). And hopefully more sleep and more gigs.

Fanny is joined by beloved troubadour Jimmybay for a night of kick-arse alt-country with a whole lot of heart in Songs Told of a Land of Gold – presented in the Dunstan Playhouse on Friday 22 July, as part of the 2022 Adelaide Guitar Festival. For more information, visit: www.adelaideguitarfestival.com.au for details.

Image: Fanny Lumsden – photo by Dan Stanley Freeman