ALBUM REVIEW: BERNARD FANNING - BRUTAL DAWN
Immediately recognizable and dripping in vehemence, the vocals of Bernard Fanning have become a distinctive hallmark of some of Australia’s greatest rock songs. Delivering a strange cocktail of earnest soulfulness, Fanning continues to transcend his previous highlights with new album, ‘Brutal Dawn’.
One of the most stunning moments on the album arrives within the first track, ‘Shed My Skin’, when Clare Bowditch joins the album. Listening with headphones, it’s almost as though she’s at your shoulder, whispering solely to you; producing a gorgeous moment of intimacy as the softness of her vocals tame the urgency of Fanning’s.
Throughout the album, it’s difficult to tell how much of the album is crafted by Fanning’s innate storytelling ability, (similar to that of tour and album companion, Kasey Chambers), and how much of the narratives find parallels with his own trials. In tracks such as ‘Shed My Skin’ and ‘Letter From A Distant Shore’ we hear Fanning assume each character so convincingly, as though certain elements resonate with his own truths.
Somewhat grittier than its companion album ‘Civil Dusk’, ‘Brutal Dawn’ sees Fanning lean towards his Powderfinger days, not necessarily sonically, but in the assertive confidence the albums emulated. Both albums appear to symbolize a new era in Fanning’s career, one that’s incredibly far from slowing down anytime soon.
Brutal Dawn is out May 26, 2017 via Dew Process / Universal Music Australia