New Release – Brilliant Sun by Fendahlene

New Release – Brilliant Sun by Fendahlene

Fendahlene are Paul Whiteley (guitar, lead vocals) and Ashley Hurst (bass, backing vocals). Their influences are broad, ranging from 60s rock and soul through punk and garage to modern indie. In Australia, they’re best known for ‘Glebe Point Road’ which received strong airplay on commercial radio, as well as for having two songs feature on a national advertising campaign for Sharp stereos.

After ten years as regulars on the Sydney (Australia) live music scene, they moved to the UK, and after a lengthy hiatus, released their well-received album ‘High and Low and Back Again’ in 2020, in the middle of lockdown. This was their first foray into vinyl. They released an EP of unreleased tracks ‘When the Hit Began’ in 2021 and began recording tracks from their enormous backlog of new songs written during the lockdowns in January 2023. ‘Brilliant Sun’ is the third release from this new song cycle, following ‘The Big Reveal’ in May and ‘Break Our Fall’ in June.

“The song ‘Brilliant Sun’ is a realisation – just maybe, with a positive mindset, we really could find ‘better’ out of the worst of times. We don’t have to accept our situation or our station in life and by taking a new approach driven by dreams of better, we just might be able to turn things around. We really can break free if we allow ourselves to see light at the end of the tunnel. But we must be relentless in this task, channelling into the energy that was until then fuelling our feelings of despair. Although written during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the lockdowns intensified already poor life situations, the themes of ‘Brilliant Sun’ are universal; equally viable for similarly desperate personal, communal and global situations.”

“Due to the themes of the narrative, we really strove to deliver a different expression of the Fendahlene sound. We wanted to create a dream-state atmosphere to inspire listeners to take that deep breath, clear their minds and find cause for hope. For that, we lent heavily on space rock and neo-psychedelia influences. You can hear this in the melodic 12-string riff that permeates throughout, interwoven with acoustic guitars and aphasing organ. Lead vocals blend with searing, layered backing harmonies to create a ‘wall of sound’ effect. The middle eight breaks out, highlighted by a lead solo playing off the 12-string riff so they almost sound ‘duelling’. We still think it sounds like a Fendahlene song, only not quite the sound people are used to.”

“We are known for using designed covers instead of portraiture – we’ve never been featured on any release’s cover art and this one was no different. Normally we would go through the process of briefing a graphic designer to come up with a creative concept that we use for the cover and all elements surrounding the release in question. This time, however, was completely different. I was sitting in the Adler Planetarium waiting for one of their Sky Shows to start – we got there really early, turned to my left and the cover image was staring at me in the face. A little abstract with the outline of empty seats, awesome stand-out colours, in our opinion, and something that very definitely resembled the brilliance of a rising sun. The empty seats added an inference that you can be witness to this event, that there’s room for you to be carried along with the themes of the song. The picture was unaltered, this is straight from the camera, and the graphic design was done by Kylie Short, who has been doing cracking designs for us for ages.”

The song was recorded at Urchin Studios, London, where they were joined by Matt Ingram on drums and Dan Cox behind the desk, both of whose credits include Laura Marling, Florence and the Machine, and Tom Odell, among many others. It was mastered by Fabien Tormin at Plätlin Mastering in Hamburg.

‘Brilliant Sun’ is out 28th July.


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