Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo - Dear River - Q

Fourth time a charm for UK-based Aussie folkie.

Crunching, distorted guitars have not been especially associated with Emily Barker.  In providing the theme tunes for both Kenneth Branagh's Wallander remake and the dark moral confusion of BBC cop drama The Shadow Line, she's more associated with stark atmospheric sound.  Barker has moved some distance on from the recorded-in-a-snowy-cottage vibe of 2011's Almanac, Ghost Narrative and The Cormorant And The Heron particularly sailing into the previously uncharted waters of guitar rock.  It's on Barker's distinctive chamber folk, however, that The Red Clay Halo's cello, violins and accordion really flourish, adding pensive sisterly support as Barker wells up about family and being far from home over a loosely themed song cycle.  Ambitious and beautifully wrought, Dear River should mark Barker's entry into the big leagues.

29 July 2013