Dear River

Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo have released their much-anticipated fourth studio album, Dear River, on Linn Records.

UK based but hailing from Western Australia, Emily Barker is a compelling singer-songwriter, who with her band The Red Clay Halo blends classical, rock, country and folk influences to stunning effect. Together they have released three critically acclaimed albums, played a string of sold-out UK dates, performed with Frank Turner at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony and written the Bafta and Ivor Novello award-winning themes to hit BBC dramas Wallander and The Shadow Line. Dear River is a major landmark that will surely take Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo to a whole new level.

Dear River was produced by Calum Malcolm (The Blue Nile) and marks a significant sonic move forward from the previous three albums, highlighting Emily’s agile vocal blend of strength and fragility, while lyrically exploring the meaning of home and its related tangents of exile, displacement, and family. Emily has emerged with a compelling song cycle that makes Dear River an unmistakable watershed in her rapidly burgeoning career.

Dear River and Linn

Dear River is the first of our albums to be released on another label. Having previously released all our albums on my own label, Everyone Sang, it was not a rash decision to forfeit the complete independence I have come to know and trust for many years now, and to place that responsibility in someone else’s hands. Linn offered us a unique and exciting way to make our fourth album. Here’s the story of how we came to know each other…

I first met Gilad Tiefenbrun, the Managing Director of Linn, in the intimate back room of a restaurant/bar called Brel, in Glasgow, where The Red Clay Halo and I were performing on the first Almanac tour back in 2011. I’d heard quite a lot about Linn and their music systems, so I was excited to meet Gilad after the show and to hear he’d really enjoyed it.

Soon after that first meeting, Gilad invited me to Glasgow to meet more of the Linn team and to take me on a tour of the Linn factory. It was an incredible experience to say the least. It was like stepping into the future, such innovative ideas and a strong belief in longevity and quality, characteristics that are hard to come by in this age of obsolescence.

What really struck me more than anything though was their care and passion in creating incredible sound right from the very beginning. Linn are renowned throughout the world for their music systems, but they also have a keen understanding of the way music is recorded and mastered before it makes its way to the ears the listener via a Linn system. All of the factors involved in the recording process, including the equipment used, the studio space and the producer are given their fullest attention in order to achieve the best listening experience.

With all that in mind, Gilad introduced us to renowned producer/engineer Calum Malcolm, who has been working with Linn for over 30 years, starting with the now legendary Blue Nile records in the 80s. We trialled our working relationship over a few days in January 2012 when we recorded a 4-track EP in Gorbals Sound, a state-of-the-art studio in Glasgow. The chemistry between band and producer was immediate; we were all really pleased with the results and so set a date to record the full-length album that summer.

We recorded the album over ten days in June 2012, doing thirteen songs in total, and I’m really proud to say that it is the best recording we’ve ever done. We can't thank Linn enough for coming onboard and giving us the opportunity to work with a world-class producer, in a world-class studio.

And finally, our relationship with Linn is further cemented with the resulting album, Dear River, being released on their own record label. Linn Records has been an industry-leading label for over three decades, constantly pushing the boundaries for delivering high-class recordings, particularly in classical music, where they were Gramophone Label of the Year in 2010.

I really hope you enjoy ‘Dear River’. We certainly had a great time making it.