South African alternative pop project Dear Reader (formerly a duo but now Cherilyn MacNeil's solo project) released their third studio album 'Idealistic Animals' in January 2012 on City Slang Records (Arcade Fire, Dan Mangham, Tu Fawning).
The album has the unique feature of all the tracks being named after an animal. It is a break-up record but not in the sense that you'd think; it's not about a romantic relationship ending, more about Cherilyn's devoted relationship with her Christian belief collapsing as she reached her late twenties. 'Mole' is tale of loneliness, darkness and a feeling of claustrophobia in a suffocating world. The accompanying video features the developing romances of people as Cherilyn passes by, alone. 'Idealistic Animals' presents many themes surrounding loss of faith; Cherilyn admits that while religion gave her a feeling of purpose and the sense that everything happens for a reason, losing it made everything seem 'aimless and chaotic'. 'I'm still coming to terms with the fact that I feel like I'm at the mercy of completely random elements', she says.
Dear Reader's sound has changed considerably since Cherilyn reluctantly parted ways with former producer and bass player Darryl Torr in order to move to Berlin. Although still possessing the innocent quality of Cherilyn's sugar-sweet vocals, the lyrics have got darker and there is definitely more emotion infused between each note.
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