Feature: Leah Flanagan – Colour by Number

Colour By Number, Flanagan’s follow-up to 2016’s release Saudades’ is a 2020 standout. Rich in personal narrative and artfully recorded/produced by Sarah and Richard “Richie” Belkner (Sarah Blasko, Tkay Maidza, Ngaiire), it’s the perfect accompaniment to the Australian landscape’s awakening this Spring.
Grounded, hopeful and steeped in the dexterities of a songwriter deeply connected to her purpose, Leah Flanagan’s voice resonates like sweet moments of peace amidst the chaos of a crowded room.
While Australia grapples with understanding its role in the climate emergency, First Nations’ perspectives regarding the careful use and respect of natural resources continue to fall by the wayside. In its entirety, Colour By Number offers us the gift of intimate insight into the values, experiences and perspectives that have helped to shape Flanagan’s existence. 

Brooding, piano-driven hymn, Broken, on the other hand, is an ode to Flanagan’s hip dysplasia and formerly broken leg.

“There’s a certain sense of introspection that takes hold when your body is recovering from injury,” Flanagan shares, a heartrendingly personal perspective that also underpins Bluebells and Fight the Night, her cross-examination of the roles played in our lives by humility, gratitude and anxiety respectively.

This acknowledgement of human fragility is a common thread amongst Flanagan’s work, a theme explored most prominently in the poem-turned-musical work, Paper Hearts“Paper hearts for paper dreams, wrap me up in paper love, just don’t discard me with hands so rough.”

But it’s the moody, lust-drenched track, Final Notice that really drives home this sentiment. 

“This is a song about wanting to lose yourself with someone; to overcome all of the ‘stuff’ that surrounds a new relationship and give in to whatever it is that’s calling you forward.”

“We’ve put our decency on final notice,” sings Flanagan.

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