PREMIERE: Stephen Cummings - 'Anxiety Attack (Extended Version)'

20 September 2023 | 12:05 pm | Mary Varvaris

"We are now finally able to release it, which I am happy about as I always liked the track."

Stephen Cummings

Stephen Cummings (Credit: Kathleen O'Brien)

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In February, Australian rock singer Stephen Cummings (of Sports fame) announced his new album, 100 Years From Now and revealed that the release was a product of the aftermath of a life-changing stroke in March 2020 and the enthusiastic support he received creating it from the Melbourne music community. 100 Years From Now was released in May 2023.

The album was recorded and mixed with longtime collaborators guitarist and producer Robert Goodge (Essendon Airport, I'm Talking) and producer and engineer Simon Polinksi (Steve Kilbey, Ollie Olsen). 

Today, The Music proudly premieres the 44-minute version of Anxiety Attack, the extended edition of his track released earlier this year (which originally clocks in at 5 minutes and 48 seconds). How often do you hear a 44-minute song these days?

The album version of Anxiety Attack will also be released as a single tomorrow, with the 44-minute version accompanying it. The track features Chris Abrahams of The Necks on keyboard and results from a collaboration with Cummings and Goodge.

“My memory of this is Stephen had or was going to write a spoken word piece called Anxiety Attack. He wanted first to do a song called that and then to have music to go along with him reading out the text to the anxiety attack stories, so we did the single, and I remixed the raw material in various permutations. For some reason, Stephen must have decided not to do the spoken word, and we put the whole thing on ice,” Goodge revealed in a statement to The Music.

He continued, “Stephen thought Geoff Hales and Chris Abrahams would be perfect to create a dreamy soundscape. At the time, I had access to a Fender Rhodes; I thought it would be a great keyboard for Chris to play.

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“The long version came about because we joined all the unused mixes together as a fun thing to do. The dreamy soundscape of the music and lyrics lends itself to the extended version.”

Cummings added, “Geoff Hales is a really good percussionist, and he lived nearby, and so he brought some Indian percussion instruments, and we recorded it in my garage. We recorded Chris at Robert’s at Highett on this old Fender Rhodes, and I wrote the lyrics and did the vocals.

“I had a long period during that time where I had a big fear of flying and caught interstate trains when touring. I think that is where the lyrics stemmed from. I knew a lot of people who had similar experiences. We probably did it 20 years ago. It was going to be a spoken word thing, but then we went cold on that, and it didn’t really fit in with anything I was putting out at the time.

“When we recorded 100 Years From Now, we thought it would fit in with the album, so Robert found it, and we are now finally able to release it, which I am happy about as I always liked the track.”

100 Years From Now is out now – you can purchase the album via Bandcamp. Only nine copies of the Limited Edition Teal Transparent 12” vinyl are left, with the black vinyl, CD and digital versions all available.

Stephen Cummings says about 100 Years From Now, “It’s one my favourite records I’ve made.”