Melbourne alt-pop luminary Shannen James has linked up with Something For Kate frontman Paul Dempsey, ringing in the festive season with a wistful new single titled ‘Fashionably Late (Every New Year’s Day)’.
Set to a soundscape of glittery, synth-accented keys and subtle acoustic guitars, James and Dempsey trade pensive, heartfelt verses musing on “the feeling of waiting for your crush to arrive by the New Year’s countdown”. It grows into a soaring duet between the singers, Dempsey’s warm and weathered baritone melding smoothly with the brightness of James’ harmony.
The track arrives today (November 23) alongside a video co-directed by James and longtime collaborator Ellena Paskevicius. It shows the two lead artists in a prom-like setting, singing the track together from the centre of a dance hall with their backs to each other.
Check out the video for ‘Fashionably Late (Every New Year’s Day)’ below:
“Being able to work with Paul Dempsey on this song was such a pleasure,” James said in a press release. “He has one of my favourite voices in Australian music and for him to want to join me on this song was a huge honour.
“He brought a different character and energy to the song but still shared the same perspective of someone waiting for their crush to walk through the door at any moment and make all their dreams come true. Did they turn up and sweep you off your feet, or were you left being the only one to be dancing alone? It’s beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.”
Dempsey noted that he first became aware of James after hearing her track ‘Superstitious’ on triple j. “Upon further investigation,” he said, “I was amazed at the depth and consistent high-quality of her output.
“We played some shows together, became friends and it’s been heaps of fun to collaborate on a song together. ‘Fashionably Late’ reminds me of classic ‘80s holiday-themed ballads which I freely admit to being a complete sucker for.”
‘Fashionably Late’ comes as James’ fourth release for the year, following ‘Superstitious’ back in March, and then two versions of ‘Separate Ways’ – the original single in July, and then an acoustic redux with Riley Pearce in September.
As for Dempsey, the singer-songwriter has kept busy with Something For Kate, releasing their seventh album, ‘The Modern Medieval’ – their first in eight years – last November. The band are set to take it on tour next March, where they’ll also perform their 2001 album ‘Echolalia’ in full.
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