Following the release of her moving album 'Rivonia' earlier this year, Cheri MacNeil a.k.a Dear Reader has announced news of a stunning new live record.
'We Followed Every Sound' will be released on the 9th December through City Slang and 'Cruelty on Beauty On' is the first track to be unveiled from the forthcoming album.
Recorded with the German Film Orchestra of Balebsberg, 'Cruelty On Beauty On' takes the dynamic music of Dear Reader to a whole new level. Tense, even cinematic, percussion is put against Cheri's recognisable vocals to create a track that is somehow unnerving, yet simultaneously beautiful.
Earlier this year, Dear Reader made a bold move by releasing 'Rivonia'. Unlike your average LP, it was an album of stories, histories and anecdotes that were all inspired by and dealing with the country she was born and raised in - South Africa. The album received a reception of great critical acclaim and showcased Cheri's ability to tell a great story within the framework of intelligent and witty pop songs. The imagery and pictures her exuberant storytelling evoked were rich and vivid, despite the often-bleak realities depicted.
When Potsdam-based radio Station Radio Eins offered up the opportunity to perform the songs of 'Rivonia' with the added dramatic texture of an entire symphonic orchestra, it felt only logical. The songs are musical miniature movies and the Film Orchestra of Babelsberg specialises in recording film scores. Music for the big screen. A marriage made in heaven.
The result is 'We Followed Every Sound', an album which sees the songs of 'Rivonia' taken to new levels of dramatic and dynamic thrill. Under the careful guidance of conductor Bernd Wefelmayer and his orchestra, and by way of the creative orchestra arrangements of dramaturge Max Knoth, the songs in question, already magical in their own right climb to new heights of scintillating warmth and intensity. The vocal performances of the band members on this magical evening, Cherilyn MacNeil, Emma Greenfield, Caoimhe McAlister and Sam Vance-Law are impeccable, and the entire Dear Reader band plays with the verve and confidence of a well-oiled road machine. Excited by the accompanying orchestra, thrilled by the possibilities of their own music, it is simply a joy to listen to. And it is only the icing on the cake that it is not only the songs of Rivonia they are revisiting with this expanded configuration, but that they also tackle classic Dear Reader stand-out tracks from previous albums, such as 'Great White Bear', 'Dearheart' or 'Idealistic Animals'.
At times troubling and at times deeply moving, the music of Dear Reader is known for raising more questions than answers, and it achieves this within the context of a collection of magical, dramatic, heartfelt songs. The power of the German Film Orchestra only extenuates this to create an album that is quite frankly immense in it's force.