Dear Reader - Man (Idealistic animals) (City Slang)
I've been working my way gradually through a mountain of music during the radio show's summer break. And here's a nugget that was sitting in my inbox for a while, which has quite an international background. The band is Dear Reader, the main force in which is one Cheri MacNeil, who is South African originally. She moved to Berlin from Johannesburg and I assume that's how she came to hook up with the City Slang people, who are releasing her new album next month. The (almost) title track is available for the price of an e-mail address at this link.
In the absence of a listening link, you'll have to take my word for how it sounds. It's an unusual mixture of intimate and epic, all at the same time. Close vocals and rimshot drums on the one hand, huge massed backing vocals on the other. And speaking of epic, I'd have to say the root-note basslines and insistent piano come on like a lower key Arcade Fire. And nothing wrong with that, if you ask me. It's a kind of folk music, but through a baroque pop filter, with some lovely vintage synth touches in support. You can read more about the lyrical concerns of the song, and the album as a whole here, but suffice to say there are some major concepts underpinning it, dealing with loss of faith and the human condition, let's call it. Which is all fairly refreshing to find in pop music, don't you think?