So begins Bernard Fanning’s second installment in a two album coupling Civil Dusk/Brutal Dawn. Renewal, realization, reconciliation and evolution are the ‘brutal’ answers to Civil Dusk’s lyricism, revision, tenderness and romance. A much established artist in the Australian music world, Bernard continues to fill his albums with the essence of an artist who only just broke into the scene. The second installment 'Brutal Dawn' is Rabbit Radio Album Of The Week, supporting Australian home grown music, you can also catch Fanning on his Brutal Dawn tour in October all around the country.
Opening track Shed My Skin lays a bare bones, hypnotic arrangement behind a mournful lyric that sees its author contemplating tomorrow’s release from prison after ’14 years’. It details hope and regret and a long held desire to make amends to loved ones he has damaged for ‘one foolish act of indifference’.
The stark internal dialogue exposes the perpetual stain that one mistake can cast across a life, backed by Salliana Campbell’s gypsy violin and Declan Kelly's asymmetrical rhythm, it perfectly communicates the feelings of anticipation and jittery expectation that the prisoner is feeling. Clare Bowditch provides a sublime background vocal that reveals the unease and tension involved in a couple reuniting after such an extended period.
How Many Times juxtaposes pain and comfort and explores the idea that love can endure any hardship, with an insistent but spare acoustic backing before a crunchy harmonica solo in the bridge lifts the song to its crescendo.
All The Glamour and Prestige, featuring Midnight Oil titan Rob Hirst on drums, and Somewhere Along the Way bear up tempo witness to dashed expectations while Isn’t It a Pity looks at the gap between memory and reality, neatly shifting between mellow verses and a glorious chorus driven by a funky soul groove. Again the idea of renewal and forward motion is captured in the final verse……….“Now all your fabled advice rings of emptiness and studied lines…..But I have resolved to erase all the bitterness and venom in my veins’.
Ten Years Gone revises a decade since the sudden breakdown of a relationship on a ‘brutal dawn’. The notion that the silences that follow are filled with doubts and questions about what went wrong lies over a beautifully understated West Coast Country piano ballad.