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Shannen James Pairs with Paul Dempsey for ‘Fashionably Late (Every New Year’s Day)’

“Beautiful and heartbreaking,” the new single pays homage to ’80s festive ballads, with Shannen James and Paul Dempsey effortlessly leaning into stunning nostalgia.


One of the country’s brightest rising stars has teamed with one of its veterans for a mesmerising festive single, with Shannen James and Paul Dempsey joining forces for the immersive “Fashionably Late (Every New Year’s Day)”.

Noted as being inspired by the classic feel of the ’80s festive ballads which pair sentiment with hazy, reflective instrumentation, “Fashionably Late (Every New Year’s Day)” recalls the feeling of waiting for your crush to arrive by the New Year’s countdown.

This nostalgic theme is also continued in the track’s music video, which sees James and Dempsey uniting beneath a glistening disco ball with direction spearheaded by both James and frequent collaborator Ellena Paskevicius from Ellena Louise Films.

“Being able to work with Paul Dempsey on this song was such a pleasure,” James said in a statement. “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.”

“I was an instant Shannen James fan the first time I heard ‘Superstitious’ on triple j and upon further investigation I was amazed at the depth and consistent high-quality of her output,” adds Dempsey. “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.”

While it remains to be seen whether or not “Fashionably Late (Every New Year’s Day)” will one day be piped out over the PA of your local grocery store as the festive season approaches, it does however harness the nostalgic feeling that it aims for.

“Fashionably Late (Every New Year’s Day)” is just another stepping stone in an already-illustrious career for James, which, in addition to numerous singles and international acclaim, saw a sold-out east coast tour earlier this year. James is set to perform at Melbourne’s Corner Hotel next Thursday for a headline show, though there’s no word if Paul Dempsey will be on hand to guest on the live debut of this new single.

Shannen James’ “Fashionably Late (Every New Year’s Day)” is out now via Ivy League Records.

Shannen James Tour Dates

Thursday, December 2nd
Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Tickets: Official Site