Bernard Fanning's next album was finished on the New Year

STAR PERFORMANCE: Northern Rivers resident and musician Bernard Fanning performing at Falls Festival Byron Bay 2016-17.
STAR PERFORMANCE: Northern Rivers resident and musician Bernard Fanning performing at Falls Festival Byron Bay 2016-17. Kirra Pendergast

BYRON Bay resident Bernard Fanning finished recording his next album, Brutal Dawn, at his studio in Tyagarah last Monday.

The former Powderfinger frontman said the upcoming album, expected to be released in April, is the second part to last year's Civil Dusk, which earned him his fifth solo ARIA award for Best Adult Contemporary Album last November.

Hours before going on stage at Falls Festival Byron Bay on Monday evening, Fanning confirmed Brutal Dawn consists of ten songs, produced and mixed by the musician himself and highly regarded local producer Nick Didia.

"We finished recording this morning ... there is a little bit of mixing to do but we did the last few hours of recording today," he said.

"We recorded 15 songs but we kept 10, and with a manufacturing time of 12 weeks, we are hoping to have it out in April."

Fanning confirmed the artwork for Brutal Dawn was done by artist Karen Lynch, whose work on Civil Dusk was nominated to an ARIA Award last year.

"The next one is not as serene (as Civil Dusk's) but more stunning," he said.

Fanning wrote all the songs for both album in 2015 in Spain, and that's one of the reasons why the albums are linked, but in terms of music, the artist acknowledged certain differences between the releases.

"Civil Dusk was much more organised in terms of the way it was played and the structure of the songs, this one is much more free-flowing, more like the band sitting down to play a song.

"Brutal Dawn is more simple and more direct in its sound than Civil Dusk.

"Also, we tried to keep almost the same instrumentation on each song in this coming album.

"When we made Civil Dusk, I was thinking of (the 1974 release) Late For the Sky by Jackson Browne, and when we were doing Brutal Dawn, we were thinking of Desire (1976) by Bob Dylan, with lots of gypsy violin," he said.

At Falls Festival Byron Bay, Fanning started his set at the main stage at 6.10pm on Monday, exactly the same time it started raining over North Byron Parklands.

"Just so you know, we play hail rain or shine," he warned the audience.

Close to the end of his set, thousands of revellers enjoyed Fanning playing a piano, singing Prince's Purple Rain while their stood under a gentle rain at the end of a hot day in the Byron Shire.

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Topics:  bernard fanning byron bay falls festival 2016

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